TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS AND LICENCES/
DEMANDES ET LICENCES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 21, 2000 Le 21 février 2000
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Françoise Bertrand Présidente/Chairperson
Présidente du Conseil/
Chairperson of the
Andrée Wylie Conseillère/Commissioner
Stuart Langford Commissioner/Conseiller
Cindy Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère
Barbara Cram Commissioner/Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Lori Assheton-Smith Legal Counsel/
Michael Burnside Hearing Manager/ Gérant de
Marguerite Vogel Secrétaire de l'audience/
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 21, 2000 Le 21 février 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
CHUM Limited 10
Questions by the Commission 26
Questions by Commission Counsel 134
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
Questions by the Commission 153
Questions by Commission Counsel 261
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
Trinity Television Inc. 266
Questions by the Commission 284
Vancouver, British Columbia / Vancouver (C.-B.)
--- Upon commencing on Monday, February 22, 2000
at 0900 / L'audience commence le lundi
21 février 2000 à 0900
1 PRÉSIDENTE DU CONSEIL: Order, please. A l'ordre,
s'il vous plaît.
2 Alors, Mesdames et messieurs,
3 Mon nom est Françoise Bertrand. Je suis très
heureuse d'être de retour dans la ville de Vancouver -- for another
hearing, because I remember vividly September 1996 when it was my first hearing
as Chair of the CRTC. So I am very delighted to be back.
4 We will be very busy this week for seven days and
I apologize in advance for intervenors and people who are interested in every
step of our hearing because it will be a long week, but it will be certainly one
that will be interesting and stimulating.
5 I would like first to introduce to you the
Members of the Panel.
6 First, on my right, Vice-Chair Wylie, Andrée
Wylie, who is the Vice-Chair, Broadcasting.
7 To her right, Stuart Langford, who is National
8 To my left, somebody you know very well in the
region given that she is the Regional Commissioner for British Columbia as well
as for the Yukon, Madame Cindy Grauer.
9 To her left, Barbara Cram, who is the Regional
Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
10 The staff that is here today with us because, as
you well know, we would never be capable of holding these hearings without your
help, your applications, your comments by interventions, but also with the help
of the expertise of staff of the Commission. I would like to introduce to you
Lori Assheton-Smith, Legal Counsel; Michael Burnside, Hearing Manager; and
Marguerite Vogel, Hearing Secretary.
11 Please do not hesitate to consult them should
you have procedural questions or any other matters.
12 Today I am welcoming you to a hearing that will
consider applications for new television programming services in the Vancouver
and Victoria markets, as well as competing applications for licences to operate
multipoint distribution systems or MDS, radio communication distribution
13 Finally, we will also look at an application for
a new English-language Canadian specialty television service.
14 First, the Panel will consider the five
applications to carry on television programming undertakings. We will hear the
15 Trinity Television Inc. wishes to operate an
English-language religious television station that would serve the Fraser Valley
16 CFMT-TV has requested a licence to operate a
multilingual ethnic television station in Vancouver;
17 CHUM Limited intends to offer an
English-language television programming service also in
18 Finally, we will hear from CHUM Limited and
Craig Broadcast Systems Inc., both of whom would like to offer an
English-language television programming service to the Victoria
19 We all know that British Columbia's population
has grown over the last two decades at a faster pace than the national average
and that Vancouver has been one of the most expanding markets in Canada and that
the television revenues grew at a relatively high pace from 1986 to 1998. Those
elements were crucial in the decision of 1997 to licence
20 Since September 1997, we all know that further
fragmentation has occurred in Vancouver as well as in all the markets across
Canada, especially created by the tremendous success of Canadian specialty
21 Given this evolving environment, today's
applicants should clearly demonstrate to us that there is a need in the market
for the proposed station and service. The Commission will examine these
applications in light of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and the new
television policy issued last June.
22 With this in mind, the Commission will pay
particular attention to the following elements which can be found in Public
23 The contribution that the new service will make
toward achieving the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, notably the production
of local and regional programs;
24 How the applicant intends to promote the
development of Canadian talent, particularly local and regional
25 How will the applicant contribute to priority
programs nationally as defined by the TV policy;
26 The possibility of concluding program
co-investments and co-purchase agreements with Canadian or foreign
27 The new service's proposed
28 The soundness or the feasibility of the business
plan, the validity of the market analysis and the advertising revenue
29 The availability of financial resources to meet
the requirements identified in the business plan's financial projects;
30 Finally, the impact on the existing players in
the Vancouver extended market as well as nationally.
31 Of course, while being aware of Canadian
television programming, the applicants should also address the needs and the
tastes of their respective markets, not forgetting the viewers.
32 In the second phase, the Commission will
consider the two competing applications presented by Craig Broadcast Systems
Inc. and LOOK Communications Inc. for new multipoint distribution systems, MDS,
to serve southern British Columbia.
33 Since May of 1995 it has been the Commission's
policy to consider applications for competing broadcasting distribution systems
in order to provide an alternative to cable and to support healthy and fair
competition in the distribution market.
34 In considering the two competing applications
the Commission will be particularly interested in the following
35 The distribution system should allow for more
competition in British Columbia;
36 Secondly, it should also permit greater consumer
37 Thirdly, it should promote the presence of high
quality Canadian programming in our broadcasting system.
38 The Commission will also ensure that the goals
of the Broadcasting Act are respected.
39 Finally, the Commission will consider an
application from Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. to obtain a broadcasting
licence to carry on an English-language national specialty programming
undertaking. The service is to be called "Food Network Canada Inc." and is
intended to replace the existing American service "Food
40 The applicant proposes that this service be
distributed via analog by all Class 1 cable distributors who already
distribute the American Food Network. In the case of systems that do not already
offer the American service on analog, the applicant expects to benefit from any
access policy regarding digital distribution on all broadcast distribution
41 En terminant, le Conseil rappelle qu'il a comme
objectif de créer un environnement dans lequel les Canadiens puissent avoir
accès à une variété de services de grande qualité et où les programmes canadiens
sont à l'honneur.
42 De plus, le Conseil vise à renforcer l'industrie
de la programmation canadienne en accordant une visibilité accrue au talent et à
la création canadienne, autant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur de nos frontières
et ainsi favoriser la croissance des télédiffuseurs dans un marché mondial de
plus en plus convergeant et concurrentiel.
43 I will now ask Michael Burnside, Hearing Manager
to explain the procedures to be followed during this hearing.
44 To everyone, a good hearing.
45 Michael. Oh, it will be
46 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam
47 Michael has kindly allowed me to take this part
of the proceeding.
48 First I will describe the procedure that will be
followed for hearing competitive applications.
49 The hearing will proceed in four
50 Phase I is where the applicants present
their application to the Commission. Twenty minutes maximum is allowed for this
presentation and questions will follow.
51 Phase II, the applicants reappear as
intervenors. They reappear in the same order as they presented as intervenors to
other competing applicants. Ten minutes maximum is allowed for this
intervention, and again questions will likely following.
52 Phase III, the appearing intervenors appear
from the public, and again 10 minutes maximum is allowed and there may be
53 In Phase IV the applicants reappear in
reverse order to that used in Phase I to rebut any interventions that have
been made on their applications.
54 Some general information for the convenience of
everyone here, the public files associated with these applications are in our
public examination room, in Room 7, and it is the room adjacent to the
hearing room. CRTC staff in that room will be pleased to assist you, but please
be aware that while an application is being heard the public files associated
with it will be in this room and not available for viewing in the next
55 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing
being taken by court reporters who are located at the table to my left and
slightly behind. If you have any questions about how to obtain all or parts of
this transcript, please approach the court reporter for
56 Finally, if you want to have messages taken, we
will be happy to post them outside of Room No. 7, the public
examination room. The phone number in the public exam room is
57 If you have any other questions, please feel
free to approach any of the CRTC staff and we will be more than pleased to
58 Now, Madam Chairperson, with your leave, I will
call the first applicant.
59 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Maybe before you
do, may I bring to everybody the information that you will see maybe a different
time of starting our days in the next few days. We would like very much to
really cover all the applications and meet with the intervenors in the time
allowed for in the next seven days, so we will start at eight o'clock as of
60 But please stay tuned, we will kind of adapt
depending on the speed and rhythm of the proceeding, and we were thinking if
ever we were to be quite late that we might use Thursday evening. But, as I say,
stay tuned, we will give more precision as we go.
61 Madam Vogel.
62 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam
63 I will now call the first applicant, CHUM
Limited, who are applying for a broadcasting licence to carry on an
English-language television programming undertaking at Vancouver. The new
station would operate on Channel 42 with an effective radiated power of
64 Whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
65 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, Members of the
Commission, for the record my name is Fred Sherratt. I am Executive
Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of CHUM Limited.
66 Before beginning our formal presentation this
morning I would like to introduce to you the talented group of CHUM colleagues
that are here with us today. In fact, we have so many that I was beginning to
wonder who was looking after the store. They are each here because each play big
roles in the development of our plans and approach to television in Vancouver
and we thought it was important that you have the opportunity to get answers to
any questions you might have directly from the people who make it all
67 On my right is Moses Znaimer,
President/Executive Producer, CHUMCity Television Group and Vice-President,
Development of CHUM Limited.
68 Besides Moses is Jay Switzer, Senior
Vice-President, Programming, CHUM Television.
69 On my left, Rob Waters, President of CHUM
70 Beside Ron, Peter Miller, Vice-President,
Business and Regulatory Affairs for CHUM Television.
71 Next to Peter is Denise Donlon, Vice-President
and General Manager, MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic.
72 Behind me, starting from my right, Marcia
Martin, Vice-President and General Manager of our newly launched entertainment
station Star! and Vice-President, Production, Citytv.
73 Next to Marcia, Prem Gill, CHUM Television's
Vancouver Ethnic Advisor.
74 Beside Prem, James Ho, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Mainstream Broadcasting who operates CHMB-AM Radio,
Vancouver. James is a respected Vancouver businessman and very active in the
Chinese community here.
75 Next we have Lenny Lombardi, Executive
Vice-President, CHIN Multilingual Radio, who we have been working with for over
76 Beside Lenny, Dan Hamilton, General Sales
Manager, Citytv, the NewVR and CablePulse 24.
77 Finishing our head panel, Sarah Crawford,
Vice-President, Social Policy/Media Education, CHUM Television.
78 At the third table, with your indulgence, Madam
Chair, Paul Ski on the left, your right, who is Vice-President and General
Manager of CHUM's Vancouver radio station CFUN and QM-FM. He has been in that
role for the past 20 years in this community.
79 Next to Paul is Hans Jensen, a partner in Bay
Consulting Group who did our market studies.
80 Beside Hans, Duncan McKie, President of Pollara
Strategic Public Opinions who did our audience research.
81 Next to Duncan we have Peter Palframan,
Vice-President, Finance and Operations for Access and Canadian Learning
82 Beside Peter, Paul Gratton, Vice-President and
General Manager, Bravo! and Space.
83 Next to Paul, Diane Boehme, Manager, Independent
Production for CHUM Television.
84 Next to Diane, Terry David Mulligan, West Coast
Host and Segment Producer for Star!, Bravo! and Movie
85 Lastly, Timothy Jim, Chief Operating Officer of
86 I would also like to acknowledge the presence
here today of Johnny Lombardi, President and CEO of CHIN Radio. Johnny was a
pioneer in ethnic programming in this country and in his early days worked with
Allan Waters at 1050 CHUM in developing ethnic programming in Toronto.
Allan could not be here today, Allan Waters, but he has asked that I give you
his best wishes.
87 Now, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, we
will begin our presentation.
88 A terrestrial television station in Vancouver
has been a long standing ambition and necessity for CHUM Television. This is the
second time in recent years that CHUM has sought such a licence from the
89 In the next few days you are going to hear a
number of applicants, each with its own view of the landscape.
90 There are two big considerations: First, local
service, service to Vancouver and Victoria; and, second, the effect of new
licences on the Canadian broadcasting system, and the cultural objectives of the
91 Madam Chair, I'm sure you remember well our
attempt of just four years ago. As you mentioned earlier, it was your first
hearing. A lot has happened since then: Baton emerging as the owner of CTV;
CanWest expanding into Montreal and buying WIC, the dynamic growth of specialty,
your TV policy, just to name a few.
92 The importance we place on Vancouver has meant
that, with the exception of Ottawa back in the 1980s, we have not sought new
television licences in any other markets. Most notably, we did not apply for
Alberta in the competitive round four years ago because we wanted to signal that
Vancouver was the one that counted most in CHUM Television's future. This is
still the case.
93 Then, as now, we believe that Vancouver needs a
vibrant, connected and faithful local station. Last time you awarded that
franchise to Baton. It now appears that station will instead become the national
94 Today, our conventional broadcasting stations,
located exclusively in the Province of Ontario, reach approximately 40 per
cent of English-language households. Our principal private competitors, Global,
CTV and WIC each reach well over 80 per cent. Each buys national program
rights and produces its own programs against a national distribution
95 To remain competitive, we too must purchase
rights on a national basis. This significant disparity between the escalating
costs of purchasing such national rights, and our limited reach, is not
sustainable. If left to continue, it threatens our ability to maintain, much
less grow, the innovative and creative Canadian programming contributions that
have been our unique contribution to the system.
96 Our urgent need is to grow into British
Columbia. This would permit us to more properly amortize our national rights
costs, the same privilege now enjoyed by the other large broadcast groups. This
sense of urgency will only be heightened and dramatized should Global be
successful in the plan they have put before you.
97 MR. ZNAIMER: Vancouver/Victoria may be a single
market for advertising purposes, but Vancouver and Victoria are two very
distinct communities for programming purposes. In every examination we have
made -- of the communities as a market and of the market as
communities -- we have seen the need to bring our experience to bear on two
very different kinds of television stations:
98 The ultra urban, ultra modern, richly polyglot
and culturally diverse news-minded and movies-orientated Vancouver station that
we are presenting today; and
99 The more mainstream series-based, calmer,
local/local/local Victoria and Island station that we will be presenting,
100 We believe that licensing both these stations
is the best way of addressing real television needs at the local level and
making a significant, timely contribution to the broadcasting system as a
101 Diversity in that system is one of the pillars
of our proposal: cultural diversity, program diversity, diversity of
102 Cultural diversity in the form of performance,
production and management that is sensitive to the emergence of second and third
generation ethnic needs and desires, and smart enough to harness their abundant
103 Program diversity in the form of eight hours of
priority programming per week in peak time, with an emphasis on major
commitments to feature film.
104 Diversity of ownership in the form of a
distinctive third Canadian private player prepared to voluntarily take on the
obligations of larger multi-station groups and to do it in a way that is
complimentary rather than disruptive.
105 With luck, after the WIC process is complete
Canada we will have only two national commercial networks aggressively pursuing
national foreign network series programming. This will help greatly in
redirecting the flow of money away from Hollywood, where it now goes as a result
of the bidding frenzy, into Canadian programming.
106 Our company's specialty or signature is
specialized television. Our first specialty was local television, local
production. In this regard, Citytv Toronto is perhaps our best-known
107 As to entertainment, our specialty is long
form, feature films and feature length documentaries. We are, and we have for
some time now, been the largest private broadcast player in Canadian feature
108 In that way what we offer is a distinctive new
style of television that is different from and complementary to the generalist,
conventional networks and their weekly half-hour and hour-long series
109 Our research, our own practical experience and
our community consultations confirm what the interventions before you also make
plain, that there are still important, unfulfilled television niches in
Vancouver and the lower mainland, such as being local and independent and in
control of your own transmitter all the time, such as the need for a new
approach to ethnic service and cultural diversity, such as movies, especially
Canadian movies, including Quebec movies and world beat movies.
110 When, in a 1996 study, our independent
researcher interviewed media directors about the Vancouver extended market, they
expressed uncommonly strong opinions about the state of the television
advertising industry and the urgent need for another TV station in the city.
They told us, essentially, that Vancouver badly needed a "Citytv-style"
111 In follow up interviews conducted just last
year, 1999, the comments and attitudes were surprisingly simple. There were
strongly worded statements about disappointment with VTV, continuing demand for
a truly "local" station and the need to serve retailers better with more and
112 In other words, what we do -- news,
movies, music, diversity, and how we do it, street front, store front and
accessible -- still represents a genuine, unduplicated, new television
offering for Vancouver for the business community as well as for the viewing
public. Savvy Vancouverites know the difference that we can make in providing a
heightened platform for dialogue and debate and for the discovery, development
and celebration of local talent.
113 While it is true that CHUM Television operates
a number of well-known and highly regarded specialty channels popular in this
area, everybody knows the war must be won on the ground. We will remain what
people around here call "astronauts" until we get a firm operating base in this
extraordinary place, this uniquely modern world city, international in populace
and futuristic in its outlook, and that also happens to be the second largest,
most important English-language market in the country and the "tipping point"
for our strategy.
114 MR. HO: There are a number of ethnic television
outlets available in Vancouver that target individual ethnic communities with
predominantly foreign third-language programming, programming of obvious
interest to new immigrants and first generation Canadians.
115 What Vancouver lacks, what most communities in
Canada lack, is a smartly produced, widely viewed, local television station
committed to airing local ethnic and culturally diverse programming that builds
bridges between ethnic communities themselves; from the "ethnic" community to
the "mainstream"; and from the "mainstream" back to the "ethnic" community. This
is what second and third generation ethnics -- my kids -- want to
116 It is this emphasis on building bridges that
attracted me to CHUM. After all, Citytv has a 29-year history in multilingual
and multicultural broadcasting that people sometimes forget.
117 My own priority with CHMB-AM 1320 is local
service -- helping build bridges inside Vancouver's Chinese community and
between those communities and other ethnic communities. At last, in
collaboration with CHUM Vancouver, we will have the ability to build bridges in
the other direction.
118 Another reason that I am here today is that I
have enormous admiration and respect for CHUM's creativity. It is not easy to
put into program terms the idea that the challenge today lies not in taking
traditional elements from traditional cultures to make still more unconnected
pockets of multiculturalism, but in taking the consciousness of all these
heritages and working to create something new.
119 In the time that I have known them, I have also
been impressed with CHUMCity's development in South America and Europe. I am
certain a successful entrance into the Vancouver market will facilitate the
extension of the Citytv style system and culture to the Far
120 I think with CHUM's ideas, Moses creativity and
my networking, both local and Far East, that CHUM-TV will be a success both
locally and in the export market to the Far East.
121 MS DONLON: I cut my musical teeth living here
in Vancouver, learning everything about that business that I could. I have
watched Vancouver develop over the last two decades into a cosmopolitan,
Asia-facing modern city. I have often wondered what would be different if we had
a station here.
122 The passionate positive affirmation that we
have heard in response to our approach in our countless community meetings and
discussions suggests we would make a big difference and has, quite frankly,
inspired us. We sincerely hope that you too get a sense of this passion in the
interventions that you will hear over the next few days.
123 Supporting our cultural diversity thrust, and
vital all in itself, is our passion for music, arts and culture. With Terry
David Mulligan here in Vancouver I am very proud of the support that we have
provided for the past 16 years to local music, creative and artistic
talent. From Bryan Adams to the Rascalz; from Spirit of the West to Diana Krall,
we have not only made a difference to B.C. talent, we have launched careers.
But, to be frank, the lack of a station here has meant that I haven't been able
to do as much for my musical home town as I wanted to.
124 With a station, I, along with Marcia Martin,
Paul Gratton and all of our other station managers and staff, will be able to
take the talent -- and not just the musical talent, the arts and theatre,
dance and cultural communities -- and take that programming developed by
CHUM Television Vancouver across Canada on Much, Bravo!, Star! and our other
channels and around the world.
125 The Barenaked Ladies got their start in the
Speaker's Corner booth at Citytv. We want emerging Vancouver musicians and
artists to have the same opportunity here. What today is in local Vancouver news
and information programming can tomorrow be in a magazine show on one of our
specialties and ultimately exported to over 130 countries, not to mention
the powerful synergies that exposure on our Internet sites can bring. No one
else can do that.
126 MR. SWITZER: In addition to the cultural
diversity of which Moses and James have spoken, the other two basic building
blocks of CHUM Television's Vancouver's schedule are local programming and
127 CHUM-TV Vancouver will air an unmatched
42 hours of local, original, station and independently produced programming
each week, including:
128 17 hours of local news;
129 12 hours of locally produced non-news
programming focusing on local entertainment and recreation;
130 CHUM Television Vancouver will also air
15 hours a week of quality, original, local ethnic programming, and two
hours a week of the first ever prime time Canadian dramatic serial set in the
world of television and visibly set in Vancouver.
131 The need for a great leap forward in production
and promotion of Canadian movies has been an oft repeated cry over the last
couple of years, but few have come to the table with concrete proposals and
commitments. We have.
132 CHUM Television Vancouver will --
sometimes alone and sometimes in association with our other terrestrial and
specialty stations across the CHUM group, and increasingly in partnership with
our friends at the CBC -- enable a quantum leap at each stage of the
creative process of Canadian film-making, development, financing, exhibition,
promotion and celebration.
133 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, as you
have heard many times of late: It is time for Canadian movies.
134 Could we have the tape, please?
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
135 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, we have covered a
lot of ground this morning and there is a lot of detail in our application, but
for us it all comes back to the situation we face and the three key things that
are unique to CHUM and our applications:
136 We face consolidation in ownership all around,
and the necessity to buy national rights to keep ratings and revenues up at our
existing stations. Program acquisition costs are fixed whether we have a
Vancouver station or not, but without a Vancouver outlet to help pay for the
programs we cannot maintain, let alone grow our business.
137 In other words, without Vancouver sharing in
ongoing program costs, our stations will not be able to buy or hold top movies
or break out series in the future and our business will decline. It's as simple
138 Fortunately, we have a creative team second to
none and we have a plan:
139 First and foremost, serving the two distinct
communities that are the Vancouver extended market, Vancouver and Victoria, with
strong local and culturally diverse programming;
140 Second, commitments to eight hours of priority
programming per week in peak time across the CHUM group, with an emphasis on the
dramatically under served area of feature film; and
141 Third, ensuring both diversity in the system
and the future viability of CHUM Television which is dedicated to the kind of
television that clearly complements the two national series-based commercial
networks in a way that best takes forward the objectives of the Commission's
142 Thank you for listening.
143 We await your questions.
144 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
145 I am the one who has the pleasure of doing the
interrogatory. I will have four major areas of questioning.
146 The first one about the general strategy in
which I will include also questions concerning the severability of your
application between Vancouver and Victoria.
147 The second area will be more around the
business plan, but in relationship to the assessment of the market. I am really
pleased that the person from the Bay study is there because we will refer to
148 The third area will be the programming,
certainly, which is the core of our broadcasting system and which is certainly
also reflected in your activities but also in your application. So we will talk
about specifically your commitment to local and also in terms of your ethnic
149 Finally, we will conclude with some elements
concerning the independent producers collaboration.
150 Okay. So let's start with the
151 We were here in September 1996 and at the time
you were applying for a station here in Vancouver and a re-broad for Victoria. A
lot has changed, as you were mentioned, since 1996 and what does it -- what
are the elements that have driven you to make a different type of application at
this time and asking for two different stations, one for Vancouver and one for
152 MR. SHERRATT: Well, Madam Chair, during the
period we were active four years ago, we continued to learn more and more about
this great Province of British Columbia. When your call came out this time we
decided to step back and take a fresh look at what the needs were in Vancouver
and Victoria, the needs in the system and the needs for us as a company in
153 You can't spend that amount of time here
without realizing that while the advertising community take Vancouver and
Victoria as a single market for economic purposes, these are two truly
distinctive and different communities, each with their own needs, each with
their own desires, each with their own complexion.
154 As that evolved we said "What is our number one
role in this process?"
155 Well, the first thing that is important in this
process we feel is service to the people in Vancouver and the mainland, and
Victoria and the Island, and how could we best serve them with local
156 It became clear to us that the way to do that
was to provide a local service geared to Vancouver and this vibrant city and
that complemented the television services that were here and that to serve the
needs of Victoria and the Island we develop a different kind of television, a
157 It is somewhat akin to the approach we take in
Ontario, Citytv and re-broads you have seen across southern Ontario, but is a
reflection and -- not only a reflection of but a vital part of daily life
in Toronto. It doesn't try to be anything else but Toronto, Toronto,
158 Our other stations in Ontario, in Pembroke,
Ottawa, Barrie, London, Wingham and Windsor are different kinds of television
stations, each contributing and being a part of life in their individual
communities. They are as distinct from Toronto as we see Victoria being distinct
159 So that was the first thrust. We realized that
it would cause some discussion and you certainly would want to explore that with
160 The one thing we do note, though, is that while
it has been Commission policy not to licence two stations to the same licensee
in, for want of a better term, the markets as defined for economic purposes, it
is a policy, not a regulation. There have been exceptions to it and we think
that this is a situation that deserves that kind of consideration from the
161 It really probably would have been economically
easier for us to come back to you and say "Give us a television station that we
can do our thing in Vancouver and spill over to the Island and get that
audience, but we didn't believe -- we sincerely to this moment don't
believe -- that that is the best way for us to provide service to these two
162 As far as CHUM is concerned and our future in
conventional television, we are faced with a situation where to be
competitive -- particularly in Toronto, but to be competitive in the
environment in which we operate -- we find that by and large, particularly
for the Toronto station -- buy national rights.
163 Then you attempt to amortize those by selling
the rights off, wholesaling them off elsewhere. Against the prices that you have
to pay today to get national rights, to both Canadian -- particularly
Canadian and foreign programming as well -- you can't amortize that cost
against Toronto. We can't get the kind of revenue contributions and have a sure
stream of revenue to help us buy those national rights unless we have control of
our own destiny.
164 So from a business standpoint it is very
important to us that we have assured access to the second largest market in
Canada in order to amortize those rights.
165 So it is those two elements, together with the
unique kind of television that we do -- it is different than what CTV does,
it is different than what Global does, it is designed to be different. They do
what they do nationally extremely well. There is no question about
166 The two emerging -- it is going to be two
networks, I believe. I'm not trying to presuppose the decisions you will make,
but that is what seems to be on the horizon -- Canada will be very well
served by those national focused networks.
167 But for local television, that's what we do. We
do local television and we do it -- we do it, we believe, extremely well.
We have to marry that with our programming needs and then there is the kind of
production that we focus on, which is long form motion pictures. We made quite
an important contribution in that area in the past and we will build on that
contribution in the future if we are allowed to enter the Vancouver and the
168 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank
169 It certainly explains the difference you make
between serving the communities and the market question itself or the commercial
170 But what is the synergy you see in having two
stations, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver, for yourself, for CHUM? You
know, kind of how does it serve best -- for example, the national right I
can understand when you talk about getting outside of strictly the Ontario
market and coming into B.C., but you don't need to have two stations in order to
do it. You could do it by being in the market of either one, either in Victoria
171 Why have you decided on a strategy by which you
have two stations? What are the synergies that will be beneficial to your
company so that it's -- you know, it's not the CRTC that owes anything to
CHUM, it's the Canadian viewers. How will it be beneficial to the viewers
because of that?
172 You know, it's not clear. I certainly can
understand, and your application explains that very clearly how you have seen
two different communities and you want to address them with different approaches
of broadcasting, but what are the synergies that you draw from having the two
rather than one?
173 MR. SHERRATT: Well, first and foremost, we can
improve the distinctiveness of each station in serving each community and
provide more diversity.
174 The thrust in Vancouver is on feature motion
pictures, on local news and building bridges in the ethnic community, bringing
the communities together and reflecting each community to the other. The
reflection of the different communities in Vancouver to each other is quite
distinctly different than the reflection of the communities on the Island to
each other. There they are smaller communities.
175 Each station is complementary in this business
problem that we face. The Vancouver station is very much akin to Citytv in
Toronto and the programming that we will amortize against the Vancouver station
is programming from Citytv, whereas the Victoria station would be very much akin
to the smaller market stations in Ontario, in Barrie, Ottawa, Pembroke, London
and southwestern Ontario. So they are distinctly different television stations,
each designed for those communities.
176 Moses, you might want to expand
177 MR. ZNAIMER: I think it's the drift of
television really in the last 10 years, but more specifically television (off
microphone) a good deal of the criticism that was levelled at television in the
early days of television, the first 10 years, the first 20 years, even the first
25 or 30 years, had to do with its form of organization, relatively few channels
trying to do a little bit of something for everyone.
178 One of the reasons I think that the specialty
channels have been so spectacularly successful is that they can bore down to a
point of precision, whether it is by subject matter or by style, which is much
more appealing to perhaps a smaller set of viewers, but these viewers are
infinitely more loyal and watch those channels with a great deal more
179 So if we had elected for a large signal that
was intended really to be a kind of British Columbia channel resident in
Vancouver, we would have necessarily muted our service to Victoria. If we had
decided to build a large television station for B.C. headquartered in Victoria,
we either would have run into a business issue, if we had been precisely
Victoria bound in content, or we would have had to dilute the Victoria content
in order to get a little currency in Vancouver, the lower mainland, the rest of
the province and that would have been a disservice to Victoria. So choosing both
of them is in keeping with what is going on in television today.
180 If I may reinforce Mr. Sherratt's remarks,
the programming on the Vancouver station is different from the programming on
the Victoria station and so both markets are required to help with this very
serious amortization issue. The primary entertainment service of the City-style
station is long form features. The primary entertainment service of the Victoria
station is series-based. So both outlets are necessary if we are going to keep
our heads above water.
181 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So does that
mean that your business plan, the way you have drawn it, is really based on the
two stations? If ever there would be only one licence it would change
dramatically the business plan?
182 MR. ZNAIMER: It would certainly change the
business plan, but each variable will change it in a different
183 We are prepared to discuss with you the various
hypotheses because we have thought about them. Of course, it not only matters
which of those licences we get, but which of the other applications you grant
licences to. So there are many permutations and combinations and we have a view
about the impact of each and every one of them.
184 But from our point of view, what is best, not
only for CHUM but for the system overall, is if we get both. Then we can
maximize what we can do in turn for the Canadian broadcasting system, and we
185 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Well, we
will certainly have the chance, through the different dimensions of the
questioning, to talk about the advantages as we go and the disadvantages and at
the end we could come back to that question of severability.
186 Certainly my colleague, Mr. Langford, who
will be doing the questioning about the Victoria application, will certainly
come back on that because I think it is quite important that we do
187 You were saying in your application, but here
as well this morning, that for you Vancouver, Victoria are the two markets that
will allow you to have national rights and will make it more financially
interesting so that you can reinvest in your projects.
188 You were saying that at the time of the Calgary
station you were not there in the run. Does that mean that for you the Victoria
and Vancouver proposal would be the last two conventional stations you would
like to have in Canada?
189 I'm not talking about the specialty and the
digital services, I'm talking conventional.
190 MR. SHERRATT: No, we wouldn't say that. They
are essential to us at this time and these are the communities at this
moment -- I'm getting feedback here -- that if you take a snapshot of
this moment in time, they are clearly the markets that both need and can sustain
191 But, as Moses was just discussing with you, as
we move on into this century and get into more and more and more specialized
television we see local television getting more and more specialized. It is a
matter of the economic balance what you can sustain as you provide more variety,
more diversity in the system, both at the national level and at the local
192 MR. ZNAIMER: If I may add, there is nice and
there is necessary. At some point it might be nice if the opportunities present
themselves to add other terrestrial stations, but the ones that are necessary,
the ones that will make a difference in our conditions of life, in our ability
to take on bigger projects, on our ability to step up to some responsibilities
that we have thought the system wants, are these two licences because of the
power of this Vancouver marketplace.
193 If we don't get in here, we are locked into a
kind of prison and it not only bodes badly for what is going on where we are
already operating, but it frustrates the kind of talent that you see sitting at
this table. We are capable of doing more and it is not a matter of our own
volition, we need your permission to do that.
194 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And then we will
owe you. I didn't like that comment in the article this morning.
--- Laughter / Rires
195 MR. ZNAIMER: I'm sorry, what comment is
196 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oh, it is an
article in The Globe and Mail and it says that the CRTC owes CHUM in terms of
your commitment to Canadian programming. I thought --
197 MR. ZNAIMER: None of us said
198 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- it is
the broadcasting system that has been put in place with the Commission to really
kind of make sure the objectives of the broadcasting legislation are met. So it
is the Canadian viewers that owe every broadcaster in this
199 MR. SHERRATT: If that is the editorial accuracy
of The Globe and Mail perhaps the Thompsons should be selling it too, yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
200 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let's talk about
the market, because ina lot of your analysis there is the strategy of CHUM, but
there is also the fact that you choose this market that has a lot to do with
your reading and appreciation of its potential, business-wise,
201 Certainly you can talk about it in qualitative
terms as well, but I think there is necessity -- especially that in 1997,
not so long ago, we were licensing a new player in the market -- there is a
necessity to understand what would be the impact of you coming into the market
but, before that, what is your assessment?
202 There have been different elements put in the
record, either by intervenors -- and certainly the one by CTV is an
important contribution in terms of a different point of view, that is
understandable, but it is there -- and how do you reconcile and what is
203 There has been a decline last year in the
national sales in the market and a levelling off of the local sales. Wouldn't
there be a sign there that there would be saturation in the market as we speak?
Or some say, like CTV, that the decline will go on for the next year. You are
saying, no, it has been a bump in the road and we are back in business and
growth is back.
204 So can you explain to us what are the elements
that make you really make that hypothesis? Take the business risk as well and
help us understand.
205 MR. ZNAIMER: Madam Bertrand, I will start
before Fred and Ron and Hans Jansen and, well, just about everybody, Dan
Hamilton -- all of them bring their business views to bear.
206 I go at it a little more intuitively and I said
just walk around. The joint is booming. I mean, you can see it everywhere you
turn, the cranes, the construction.
207 Then I draw from my own experience and my own
reactions. I wanted to come here. I have been trying to come here for some
30 years and I think the population will continue to stream into this part
of the country. Some 400,000 or 500,000 people moved into this area in the last
decade and the projections are for more of the same. The economies of the Asian
countries, the so-called tigers, are all bounding back. It seems to me the
prognosis is sensational.
208 As for the economy -- again this is just
me as a layman speaking, but I think it is important to distinguish between the
general economy and the television economy.
209 Even in the grips of the so-called recession of
the last two years the most recent entrant who came in on a projection of some
$20-odd-million in sales managed to do 30-plus -- 30-plus. They were
stunned. Even today I know that station is doing a gangbuster business. So I
have no doubts at all.
210 Having said that, the guys with the numbers can
211 MR. WATERS: I am going to pass this off to Dan
Hamilton in a minute, but just before he gives you the detail on those numbers I
think the blip you referred to last year was just that, a blip, and I think the
indication in the years previous to that were quite a substantial growth in this
212 The sign this fall, from what we have seen from
the TVB report, is that things are going back up the right
213 I think the experience we had in Toronto one
year with that little blip was due to the meters coming into the market. Before,
as you know, they had BBM diaries here and they have changed to the meter
method. Sometimes that causes a little bit of uncertainty in the market and may
have caused a little bit of a downturn in that revenue growth.
214 Obviously the specialty channels take
incredible impact on all of us on the conventional side, so there is definitely
that specialty influence that has come into the market, but some of those
specialty channels are also owned by those broadcasters in the market and I
think they have stolen a little audience away from themselves.
215 So, Dan, I will pass it to you for those
216 MR. HAMILTON: Yes.
217 Madam Chair, there are many ways to define the
television spending in a market and you have gotten many different definitions
from various intervenors.
218 To give you our methodology of how we define a
television market, we like to look at the size of the whole pie and all the
elements that make up that pie. We think that is the fairest way to do
219 The elements that make up that pie are local
dollars, national spot dollars and network dollars. So if you take the total
spending in the Vancouver television market and look at all three of those
elements, what you get is a pretty vibrant, healthy spending over the last six
220 Indeed, if you look at it compared to other
markets in Canada over the six year period, Vancouver has experienced, on
average, 6.61 per cent growth, followed by Edmonton at 5.5, Toronto at 5,
Montreal at 4.7, Ottawa at 4.3 and Calgary at 4.1. So certainly over a five to
six year period this market has grown in TV revenues
221 Yes, we acknowledge that there was a blip and
in fact the spending in the market decreased by 6.6 per cent in the year
1998-1999. We believe that is a one year anomaly and we believe there are a
number of reasons for that, some of which Mr. Waters alluded to but, just to
expand on that, we believe that the continued high cost and short supply of spot
inventory and long lead times necessary to purchase TV compared to other markets
led to people moving away from doing television in this marketplace or looking
at other alternatives.
222 Secondly, concern over the Asian flu and other
short-term economic concerns did have more impact in this market than in other
markets in Canada.
223 Finally, as Ron alluded to, the initial
confusion over the change from diaries to people meters had some impact on
spending. We experienced that in Toronto a number of years ago when that
conversion was made as well.
224 So we believe that was a one year anomaly in
225 The TVB numbers that we look at for the first
three months of this broadcast year, September, October and November of 1999,
show that this market is up 2.01 per cent from the previous year three
month period and that leads all markets in Canada.
226 By the way, all our numbers and sources are
based on TVB information which broadcasters supply their numbers to an
independent body who passes them along and that is the source for all the
numbers we have used.
227 So, in summary, we think this is a pretty great
television economy and a very vibrant and growing one.
228 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What is your
assessment -- you know, there is the hypothesis of whether it is going to
be -- there is saturation, there has been a decline and it will go on or,
as you say, it's a bump in the road and we are back to growth. As all the good
economists say: Let's suppose the problem is solved and move on to kind of our
229 But I think it would be important to understand
what is your view in terms of a new player in the market, and your experience as
well? Some say that it helps really develop more appeal to television in terms
of enlarging the advertising pie for television.
230 What is your view, given your analysis but also
your experience in other markets?
231 MR. WATERS: I guess, I think you hit it right
on, and Moses talked about it earlier, that we are a different kind of
television that we do at CHUM. It's a very special niche kind of television and
when we move into a market we often think that we grow the advertising pie
because it gives an opportunity to a lot of new retail local accounts to get
involved in television that maybe couldn't afford it before.
232 I think the best example of that is the
specialty channels. I mean, that is one of the reasons they are doing so well in
sales is they are able to offer new national advertisers the opportunity to get
into television at a lower price.
233 So I think the opportunity for CHUM to get into
Vancouver will see new advertisers coming to television and I think that will
grow the market and they will eventually want to be on the other
234 I think that's -- maybe, Dan, if you want
to expand on it and give, you know, a little bit of detail about what we do at
Ottawa at RO.
235 That's what we do. That's our specialty and I
think we will have the least impact on any other one of the stations in this
market than anybody else.
236 MR. HAMILTON: Madam Chair, just to add to what
Mr. Waters said and your comments about how this market changed with the
addition of another station, in fact with the launch of the new station in
1997-1998, the first year of operation of CIVT, the market grew 9 per cent
over the previous year, significantly more than any other market or region in
Canada. So certainly launch of that station in this market
237 To what Mr. Waters alluded to, we believe
we are experts in the area of new business development. When you look at our
financial plan or business plan of that $19 million six we say we are going
to do here, 35 per cent of that revenue comes from local and over a seven
year period grows to almost 41 or 42 per cent.
238 We just didn't straight line a number. That is
the power of new business development and our commitment to local television
sales, that it would be such a high percentage of our total dollars. That is
much higher than you see from the other applicants.
239 Mr. Waters also alluded to how well we have
done in other markets and certainly the new RO is a good indication of the kind
of new business we have done with the launch of a new station in that
marketplace and in the first year of operation 35 or 40 per cent of
our retail business on that station were new clients to
240 We are also committed to new business
development nationally. We have four individuals who do strictly new business
development at a national level as well. So they are not just calling on
agencies and fighting for share or competing against other transactional
business, they are out talking to clients, developing new business and trying to
bring new clients into the medium of television.
241 In fact, five years ago we set up an office
here in Vancouver for that very purpose and have had a national representative
here talking to clients whose head officers are in western Canada and
encouraging them to embrace the medium of television.
242 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What's the
impact, then, on the rates? Will there be -- if we were to consider your
proposal you are saying that it would bring new players to the advertising pie
of television, but what would be the situation on the rate?
243 Would we see -- because you were referring
to what could be the explanations of the situation of a decline that the high
costs of advertising here is one of the factors. Does that mean that you would
bring competition, some may say, although in some areas we don't see that as
quickly as we would like, but competition should bring prices
244 Have you a forecast on what could be the
deflation effect of your presence in the market, especially regarding local
245 MR. HAMILTON: We don't believe we would have a
negative effect on the cost per points or the cost per spots in the market. That
is not what I meant when I talked about the high cost of
246 I should have stated, it's not just the high
cost of television, it is the long lead times necessary to be able to purchase
television in this marketplace. If you were trying to buy a fall 1999 inventory
on some of the key shows you would have to buy it in, you know, late May or
early June, or whatever, and that made it very difficult for retailers or
regional operations, or whatever, to make their decisions that far in
247 So it was a combination of costs of the really
good inventory, but also the long lead times necessary to purchase television
that made advertisers think about going in other directions.
248 In terms of market pricing, we don't believe
that our entrance into the market would change the cost per points at all. We
have always charged fair value for our inventory, we are competitive with the
other broadcasters in that area, and in a market like this where we truly
believe new inventory means new accounts to television and new dollars, it would
not create a decrease in the cost of advertising.
249 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let's talk about
the distribution you make in your forecast in terms of the seven years, saying
that your local advertising will be about 40 per cent -- is it, or is
it the other way around?
250 I have lost my page. Just a minute. Bear with
me, I will be back.
--- Pause / Pause
251 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, 40 per
cent of local advertising. You see that as being really like ongoing for the
252 Of course, you put a lot in your application in
terms of supporting the communities you would like to reach and serve and talk
to. What are the factors that make you believe that you can really count on that
40 per cent? Probably it refers to the elements we were just talking about,
but with more in-depth type of details I think it would be
253 Because when you look at what is the situation
of the other players in the Vancouver market or the British Columbia market, or
even English-language in Canada, the percentage you have for local versus
national revenues is not the one of the other.
254 So how do you explain that situation and how
does it compare to your other stations in other markets in
255 MR. WATERS: I guess that is the thrust of our
whole application is local, local, local. What we have found at CHUM, by getting
involved in the communities and doing the local news we do and involved in the
local community with different programs, et cetera, and promotions, and on
256 I mean, I always go back to the breakfast
television example at City, the two hours we do live in the morning. I mean,
just so much comes through there, so many opportunities you are involved with
the public that over time that comes -- you get involved with more and more
businesses. They see what you are doing locally and that you care about what is
happening in their community and they come forward. They want to be part of
that. They see what we do locally.
257 I think that is what Fred explained in the
presentation. That is our expertise is local programming and what follows is
local advertising. That is how we have built our business. It was in radio, it
was in the Maritimes, it's in Barrie, it's at City and that's what we hope to do
258 As far as the numbers go, Dan may have the
percentages for City or VR, whatever you would like to have, but it truly is the
key to our business. I think that is why it is so important for us, why we are
here saying we need an operation in this market so that we can continue to do
the local programming. Again, that's why we think on the advertising side we
will be as little impact as possible because of that thrust on the local sales
259 Dan, I don't know if we have the numbers
260 MR. HAMILTON: The only comment I would make,
Madam Chair, in addition to what Mr. Waters has said, is it's not
41 per cent year one, it's 35 per cent year one, and we believe that
over a seven year period that 35 per cent would build to 42 per cent.
That 35 per cent is based on historically how we performed with our other
stations in Ontario.
261 So, you know, that is our belief in the
strength of our local formats. Our local formats develop local business and our
emphasis on new business development, both nationally and locally, has brought
us those kinds of results.
262 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Do I understand
correctly that you are assessing that if you were to come into the Vancouver
market you could perform even better than in the Toronto market on local, that
there would be more advertising forces here that could be tapped because of the
personality that you would present to the advertisers?
263 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
264 MR. ZNAIMER: You are absolutely
265 MR. SHERRATT: We literally pioneered retail
television in Toronto, because you can go back a few years and if you go into
historical data that you would have there was very, very little. But we have
always been atypical in our split between local or retail and regional and
266 We were very atypical in our Maritime
operations. More of our business was at retail and regional than national. I
think that is very atypical.
267 MR. WATERS: Just to give you one little example
that might explain it, our station in Barrie, which was a CBC affiliate for some
35 years, you know, we did well there and, as you may know, we
disaffiliated from the CBC and became independent in Barrie.
268 What has changed is, we have more time during
the day to do more local programming and, most important, we have more inventory
to sell the local clients. Before we were limited because of the CBC tie and we
just couldn't meet the needs of our advertisers who wanted to be in prime
269 So now in Barrie where we have, you know, an
hour newscast when we want to have it and all the rest of the schedule, our
retail sales business is so much better because they can get involved. It works.
It rings the cash register for us.
270 MR. HAMILTON: Just one final comment I might
make, just in a -- also we believe that we can increase TV revenue, so not
just bring new clients to television, we think there are ways for us to increase
TV revenue from existing advertisers, and that is by the nature of our formats,
that is by the nature of doing promotions and events that make the television
buy even stronger.
271 So whether it's a forced tune on our station or
some kind of special promotion or event like the festival shmooz or like an
event in our parking lot, we are very good at creating those kinds of things
that bring new money into the medium of television because they bought the spots
and the dots but they want to do something beyond that. That sometimes comes
from a different budget that they have set aside for promotions or whatever and
we think we are very good at developing those kinds of dollars as well and have
a good history of doing that.
272 MR. SHERRATT: National advertisers only have
one meter that they pay any attention to and that is the people meter, the
audience meter. The single most important meter to a retail advertiser is the
273 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not only to
274 Tell me, in the advertising revenues, given
that we are talking about that, you say that you will take 35 per cent from
the U.S. conventional and 30 per cent from new revenue all together. The
35 per cent of U.S. conventional, how do you distribute what would come
from KVOS and the other players? Do you have any precision on
275 MR. HAMILTON: Yes, I can give you the detail on
276 You are right, we anticipate 35 per cent
of our $19 million six, or approximately $6.86 million, the majority
of that revenue would come from KVOS. There are a number of factors that led us
to that --
277 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: "Majority" being
over 50. So can you be a bit more precise?
278 MR. HAMILTON: I'm sorry?
279 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: "Majority" being
over 50. Is it 75 per cent?
280 MR. HAMILTON: Well, okay. In terms of
281 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Big question in
282 MR. HAMILTON: Of the $6.86 million we plan
to repatriate, I would suggest that up to 70 per cent of this total could
be received through the program repatriation of shows that currently air on the
KVOS schedule that we own or project to own the B.C. rights to if granted this
283 Examples are, "Star Trek Voyager", their top
rated show, "Blind Date"; "Seinfeld"; "Relic Hunter"; "Lexx: The Series"; "VIP
"and "Morey Pauvich".
284 It should also be noted that up to 15 to
20 per cent of the movie titles aired on KVOS would no longer be available
to them should CHUM Television be granted a licence.
285 So the total revenue associated with this
programming, by our estimates, exceeds $5 million.
286 Now, there are other factors that led us to the
total number and some of those factors are the Canadian factor. It's our belief,
and evidenced by the research from Bay Consulting, discussions with national and
local agencies, that media buyers want and prefer to do business with a Canadian
station, all things being equal, and a CHUM television station will provide this
opportunity. So that is another strong point.
287 Also, in terms of just the players in the
market, KVOS are certainly the most vulnerable. If you look at them in terms of
share or in top programs, they rank a distant fifth.
288 So whether they are a Canadian or American
station, they are the one that we would take aim at. They are the ones that are
most vulnerable to a new formatted station like ours that would certainly
attract advertising attention.
289 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That would be
mainly through repatriation of rights of KVOS local advertising that you
290 MR. HAMILTON: No, both local and national
advertising would come as a result of those shows that we
291 I should stress that also we believe it is not
just the program repatriation, it is we would then be able to package --
and everybody buys packages in television or buys a selection of different
shows -- and we believe that their offering would be weakened without those
shows. We would be able to create better packages, our new live breakfast
television show and whatever would take away at other inventory they have on
their station as well.
292 So it's not just the program repatriation, it
is the viewing repatriation as well that brings some of that revenue to
293 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Is that true
also with this application we are talking about, Vancouver alone without
necessarily accounting for the synergy with the Victoria
294 MR. HAMILTON: Yes.
295 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
296 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
297 When you talk about this $5 million that
could be brought back to Canadian broadcasters through the packaging and program
rights repatriation, what is the difference you make between local and national
here? What is the division you would make here between local and
298 MR. HAMILTON: Well, I haven't broken out that
division. It's basically the value of those programs based on their estimated
ratings on our station based on our estimated sell, our
299 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
300 MR. HAMILTON: So I would suggest those shows
are worth in the neighbourhood of $5 million to our
301 I would suggest there would be local accounts
that wanted to be in that inventory and there would also be national accounts
that want to be in that inventory. So it would be somewhat similar to our 65-35
overall revenue projection.
302 MR. SHERRATT: One thing that I just might point
out is that Dan has been able to be very precise in these revenue projections
because we have in place an exact program schedule that would be on the air if
we were operating the station today, because the programs that are in the
schedule are programs that we sell back to the market now. They are programs
that we have under licence or programs that we produce.
303 So he has a very precise schedule that he had
to work with, and that applies not only to Bellingham but also to the programs
that play here in Vancouver on VTV.
304 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But that is not
strictly of that application. Some of them are related to the project for the
Victoria market as well?
305 MR. WATERS: There are some in Victoria as
306 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What would be
the division between the two?
307 MR. WATERS: Jay?
308 MR. SWITZER: There would be a healthy mix,
309 Programs that we would repatriate that we may
discuss tomorrow include shows such as "Dream Maker"; "First Wave"; "Earth:
Final Conflict", some movies, some older "Star Treks", and so
310 We have done a lot of business with KVOS
volume-wise, not a lot dollar-wise, and it has been frustrating because there
has always been -- especially in the case of Canadian series. No Canadian
stations here in the market prepared to take these things.
311 So there is a long list of shows that we
control that we will repatriate for today's discussion, and there is an equally
long list of shows that we will discuss later that also apply to
312 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But the
$5 million we have been talking about over the $6.8 million coming
from the U.S. conventional, is this $5 million for that Vancouver
313 MR. WATERS: Yes, it is.
314 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. And it's
not strictly advertising, it is also like talking about having proper value and
315 MR. SHERRATT: No.
316 MR. WATERS: No, it's straight advertising
317 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Advertising,
okay. Thank you.
318 What was my question? I lost
319 MR. SHERRATT: Don't look at me.
--- Laughter / Rires
320 MR. SHERRATT: Look at her, she has the
321 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, while you are
322 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I lost my
323 MR. MILLER: -- maybe I can also take a
broader perspective as to how we looked at it, because I think not only were we
uniquely qualified to do a program-by-program bottom-up analysis but we also did
a top-down analysis with Bay consulting and I was actually the person who
received them both.
324 I can tell you that they came in remarkably
consistent, two independent analyses that both came down to the same conclusion.
The total revenue in the market could support the two station applications and
from there we were able to develop our revenue projects and our programming
325 I would also like to mention
326 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The two, you are
talking about Victoria and Vancouver?
327 MR. MILLER: Yes, that is the
328 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not KVOS and a
329 MR. MILLER: Yes.
330 But the other interesting thing that is unique
about Vancouver is, of course, that the viewing to Canadian services in
Vancouver is far lower than the national average and hence this huge opportunity
we have, I believe, to repatriate viewing, both because of our schedule and
because we, from experience, recognize that people would prefer a local
331 The difference is remarkable. This was data
that the CMI report filed by the intervenors gave. The average nationally of
viewing to Canadian services, as you will recall, is on the order of
72-73 per cent, but in this market it is now hovering about 64, 63,
62 per cent.
332 Also interesting to note is that that went up
from on the order of 60 or lower per cent before VTV was
333 So there is, we believe, this incredible
opportunity to create a real Canadian local station here rather than this
satellite station that serves the market from Bellingham.
334 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, I have two
335 The first one is: The national rates and the
sublicensing to KVOS was a way for you not having other stations outside of
Ontario to be able to amortize. You know, given the expenses that do require
being in one given market and the program commitment, why isn't it the best
strategy to pursue?
336 You know, that national -- buying rights
question is certainly one that exists and eventually it might even be North
American rights and eventually even global rights, but why isn't it the
337 I can understand from a regulator point of view
or a legislation point of view, but why isn't it from a business point of view,
dollar-for-dollar, not the best strategy to pursue? That was certainly one up to
1996 you were quite pleased with.
338 MR. SHERRATT: Well, not quite pleased. It's one
339 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You were
suffering but not too --
340 MR. SHERRATT: It was one that we had to
341 We sell programming not only to KVOS but also
to VTV. It was always ironic to us that VTV was licensed and put our schedule on
the air, but that is another story.
--- Laughter / Rires
342 MR. SHERRATT: But when you have a middleman and
it's a buyer's market you don't get very good prices for what you are
343 I think the most telling story that we have,
Jay can give you an example of a Canadian program that we are working on right
344 MR. SWITZER: It's extremely frustrating in the
area -- put aside the American dollars and the American
345 With Canadian programs you are talking about
very large licence fees to get indigenous Canadian programs met. In the area of
movies you are talking about significant dollars.
346 I will just give you two brief examples that
are both recent.
347 In the area of feature films we supported
several years ago a Vancouver film produced by Christine Habler and directed by
Bruce MacDonald called "Hard Core Logo". It won lots of awards. It is a
Vancouver masterpiece, a really extraordinary film.
348 We have the national rights to this film and it
cost us many hundreds of thousands of dollars. At any price we could not get a
Vancouver broadcaster to play this film, to buy it, to showcase it, to perhaps
co-ordination promotion, to glamorize on a national basis. We have more than a
dozen films, many of them we showed on the tape, from Vancouver alone in the
past three years that there is no home for.
349 I don't blame the local broadcasters because
that is not their business. They are in the series business and films are not as
important to them. But it is wrong and it is part of why we are here, to solve
this Canadian film problem.
350 In the area of series, as you know series are
very expensive. We have a produced in Canada a series from Halifax that we are
very proud of. It's called "Lexx". It is produced by Paul Donovan and the Salter
Street people. Our licence fee for every episode to get this series eligible for
other funding is in the order of $175,000 per episode. There are now more than
40 episodes produced.
351 You need national -- you need stations
that you have co-ordination with, that you own and that you can
352 When we come to the Craigs, and we do good
business with them in Alberta, you say "Thank you very much". You take the
series and it is $5,000 or $10,000. You are thankful for the exposure, but we
are talking about hundreds of thousand of dollars and millions of dollars on a
national level to get these films made and get these series made. It is part of,
as a programmer, why I am so frustrated and so concerned about having to get
over this hurdle.
353 MR. SHERRATT: The biggest factor, though, in
it's simplest form is you then licence it at a realistic amount that you can
licence programming for for the station that you own and operate and the
inventory that you have control over that you can sell the time in and amortize
it and have a successful business. You can do that much more efficiently if you
cut out the middleman.
354 MR. SWITZER: Not to talk much about the
American programming, but a very short note is: We have had to, over the last
few years, step up to the plate in many cases to buy national rights, frankly,
to stay alive. It's not something I come to my principals and wish to do, but if
our programmers are to deliver schedules in feature film and in some of the
other series that we are discussing tomorrow, we have to be able to play on a
national scale or we won't be eligible to get programs.
355 The CanWest group and the CTV group are so
large and so powerful and able to purchase programs both deeply and broadly that
if we don't offer, even at a lower price, a national licence fee we just won't
even be able to bid.
356 MR. ZNAIMER: That is a change in the market. It
wasn't that long ago that you could still get decent stuff buying on a
market-by-market basis. You can no longer do that.
357 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But your whole
assessment of what is going to happen in your capacity of helping increase the
whole advertising pie and because of your own personality of what you bring in
terms of that signature of Citytv, the capacity of really interesting more
dollars from even players that are not presently on the television, is this
taking into account sufficiently the fragmentation that has occurred? Not only
the last licence in the market but, you know, the phenomena you are even helping
yourself to develop which is the specialty services and their tremendous
358 You know, I certainly can appreciate what you
are saying as being this year very unique and that it was a bump in the road,
and there is also -- and we know viewership is going for specialty services
and it is not coming to an end, there are new services that came into play only
last September, as you well know, and there will be new ones coming in with the
359 What is really the probability that what you
are seeing and that your experts with you are seeing will be a
360 Because our concern is certainly your dollars
and your bottom line, that is one point, but also it is your capacity to make
real the plan you are proposing here and the proposition you have in terms of
programs to the Vancouver viewers. So it is very important to understand your
assessment and how much you are prepared to live by what you have here in terms
361 MR. ZNAIMER: We are absolutely prepared to live
by what we have here by way of proposals. We are offering this application as
separate from the other application. They each stand alone. They stand better
together, but they do stand alone.
362 Again, I come at this in a rather more
intuitive way, but I think we will prosper, not only because the market is
dynamic and the economy is on the up cycle again I think, but because we pitch
what we do as a specialty format. You have to begin to think of local television
as a corporate specialty. I think we are making gains with that idea to the
degree that the way lies with specialized service we think some of our buyers
have come to understand what our version of the television industry is in
363 MR. SHERRATT: Specialty clearly is cutting in,
amongst other things, into people's time, the Internet, all of these things are
taking time away from conventional television. I know I will get some chuckles
from my colleagues, but the halcyon days of conventional television are passed.
It's a new world. It's a real world and it is a different world than it
364 But if you take all of the specialties we
operate -- and we were pioneers in specialty television. It was 15 years
ago that we were really in specialty television with City, it was a specialized
kind of television station, but we realized that there was going to be more
specialization and more specialization so we decided that if we were going to be
fragmented we had better do it to ourselves rather than have somebody else do
365 We were able to build our specialty services
off of Citytv. That was the dynamic that made it possible. But now, almost
15 years later, we cannot keep Citytv going off of the success of the
specialties. They are just not big enough. All of our specialties together do
less volume than some major market single television stations. That is the
economics of it. As your margins on your conventional stations shrink, and they
are, you have to expand that base in order to be able to amortize the costs and
do the programming, but we continue to go down the specialties and we can make
them work together.
366 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Those are the
economies of scale you were talking about in your application?
367 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
368 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Last question
369 You are projecting 25 per cent of your
revenues to come from existing Canadian players, which is in fact
$4.8 million. What would be the proportion between, not the players
themselves but between national and local?
370 MR. WATERS: Again, I think you would stay with
the 35 and 65 per cent would be similar to the application of
371 MR. SHERRATT: Some of that revenue that would
come from other players we think would come back to network. We think the
inventory -- tightness of inventory of Vancouver has probably driven some
advertisers into network because the first market that is bought in Canada today
is Vancouver. When they start planning nationally they buy Vancouver first
because if they can't plan and get Vancouver, then they can't execute their
372 So they come here first and some of them are
driven into network. We think that some of that money will be repatriated from
373 MR. WATERS: Excuse me, Madam Chair, just to go
back to your question too about our business and the local side of
374 I think it is important that you see --
I'm glad you pointed out the 35 per cent local and that is the thrust of
what we do in our conventional stations. Because the specialties can only sell
national advertising, they cannot sell retail. That's why we think our
conventional stations should be so local and go after those local dollars so
they are not going after the same dollars the specialties and the networks are
375 MR. SHERRATT: There is one other problem with
specialties and we, along with others in it, are going to have to address: We
are selling specialty television too cheaply.
376 MR. WATERS: Both to the advertisers and the
--- Laughter / Rires
377 MR. SHERRATT: I was thinking of the advertisers
because I think we are the only ones probably selling as cheaply as we do to the
378 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not
--- Laughter / Rires
379 MR. ZNAIMER: Madam Bertrand?
380 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oui?
381 MR. ZNAIMER: I thought it might be useful as we
are talking about specific numbers now or last year or next year to just
recollect that this has been the bonanza market in Canada. The operators who
have been lucky enough to be here have made out like banditos and
382 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: No
383 MR. ZNAIMER: Just a metaphor. Just a
384 And in this discussion, you know, I kept
humming to myself sort of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina". People have done well
here and we will all continue to do well here.
385 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And they still
want to do well.
386 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
387 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
388 You have some audience projections and you have
predicted by your plan and the capacity of the market that you could, not the
first year but quite rapidly, I think it's the third year, have a reach of
4 per cent market share. Your reach, though, you are assessing that you
will be able to get a 68 per cent reach.
389 When we compare those figures to the Toronto
situation where you have 7 per cent of the market share and a reach of
44 per cent, we wonder if your share is not underestimated and your reach
overestimated. It's only projections I know, but what would be the factors for
you that would make it different from the Toronto situation for
390 MR. HAMILTON: I have share numbers of 4.1,
rising to 4.5 year seven. Is that what you have?
391 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Let me see. I
was going from --
392 MR. HAMILTON: And reach numbers of 61 per
cent rising to 64 per cent year seven.
393 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Just a minute. I
had 3.5 for year one going to 4 per cent year seven.
394 MR. HAMILTON: Okay.
395 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Year three was
4 per cent.
396 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, this appears to be a
discrepancy in what we filed in our deficiencies and what we discovered when we
were doing our review over the weekend.
397 I would be happy to file the new numbers that I
believe, that contrary to what we filed in our deficiencies which was, as you
say, starting in year one 3.5 going to 4 in year four, the actual numbers should
have been 4.1 going to 4.5. I apologize for that.
398 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Going to
399 MR. MILLER: Yes. The share number should have
been 4.1 going to 4.5.
400 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
401 MR. MILLER: The reach percentage is also
different from that filed. Again, filed was 87.5 to 91.5 and they should
have been 61 going to 64.
402 MR. SHERRATT: But, Madam Bertrand, I think that
was the number. You used something in the 60s as the reach compared to Toronto
403 MR. MILLER: Yes.
404 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Which is in the
405 MR. SHERRATT: Yes. I think that is the
competitive environment of the market, the size of the market and the number of
signals that are available in the market. There are many more signals available
in Toronto so there is loyalty of share. We have a loyal audience. It's a mature
loyal audience to Citytv and there are more stations vying for share there. So
you can get your share up against your loyal core audience, but you won't reach
quite as many people in the market with as many signals as
406 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But my question
was: Aren't you underestimating your capacity of getting higher share? Because
if we take -- referring back to our conversation about KVOS, for example,
you immediately have a possibility of establishing yourself just by that very
fact, plus all the elements you were presenting around addressing the local
communities with what they haven't had in the market up to now from your
407 So isn't 4 per cent somewhat low on
your -- I know you must be hoping for more, but why are you conservative,
given everything you were telling me earlier this morning?
408 MR. HAMILTON: Well, what we have done is taken
a look at this marketplace, looked at the share of the other stations in the
marketplace and I think KVOS for two-plus has a 4.2 per cent share; KIVT
has a 4.7 per cent share, and they have been here two and-a-half years;
CHEK at 4.6.
409 So we think the numbers we have used going in
are a reasonable estimate of what our share would be year one and what it could
grow to. We looked at the market, we looked at the competitors and did our
evaluation based on that.
410 Not to go in a whole different direction, but
there is no correlation between share and revenue, as I'm sure you know, in many
411 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But there is
between reach and share.
412 MR. HAMILTON: There a correlation between reach
and share, yes.
413 MR. SWITZER: Madam Chair, if I might add, the
7 per cent approximate in Toronto that Citytv has achieve, which we are all
very proud of, has taken us 28 years. As a programmer, if a year and-a-half
from now the programming team in Vancouver were to tell me that in fact they
were successful at getting a 4.1 or 4.2 per cent share, I would
certainly be very, very pleased with that.
414 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: But given what
the advertisers seem to be saying, given your application, and the Pollara study
you filed -- although I take that with a grain of salt having been in
research myself before -- but still I find that it's a bit conservative and
I was wondering why you went the conservative route. That is not the one CHUM
has accustomed us to.
415 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. Well, we may have a
flamboyant reputation on the program side, but I think there is a good solid
business discipline that also animates the company and it speaks to your
question about what happens if the numbers don't come in. Does the public
interest still get served? Are these commitments hard
416 There are various factors that have been
mentioned and I can think of one or two more. In this market one station has
been particularly dominant and particularly dominant against day parts where
stations program their own material. I think that is a an important
417 Of course, we are going ahead with this
application in the hope that we are also launching another station in Victoria
at probably the same time. That signal also will come back into Vancouver and it
will be done by one of our teams and so we think it will be well
418 So all those factors together and given that
it's a start-up I think it is conservative, but sensibly so.
419 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
420 Last question with figures.
421 You know that in the new TV policy we have kind
of forgotten or abandoned the idea of expenditures as condition of licence.
Although this is the case in the TV policy, given that it is not about a renewal
of licences proceeding we are in, what do you think, given that it's a hearing
where there are five applicants, three for one market, two for the other, if we
would take into consideration putting as a condition of licence for a new
licence the expenditures commitment? What is your view on this?
422 MR. SHERRATT: Well, I will start and ask others
423 The percentage of revenue is quite high that we
are planning to spend at the outset. We can understand that you would like
comfort that what has been promised will be delivered, and we would like to give
you that comfort.
424 I guess when you come in -- we had a
discussion about this and I think it's around 39 per cent --
39.1 per cent, which is higher than that national norm. It's
425 But if our revenues weren't there, if we didn't
meet our revenue projections, the last place you try to steal from is the
programming because it is the programming that is going to get you the revenue
eventually. But if it's really not there, then you have no alternative but to
get some money from wherever you can to survive.
426 I would think we clearly would be prepared to
accept as a condition of licence the norm across the country, which I think is
in the 35s, but I'm not saying -- I think we would want to talk about it a
little more -- that we wouldn't accept a 39 because the spread
wouldn't be that big, but it could be just, you know, a key
427 What it would do, as Moses just pointed out to
me, it wouldn't cut down where you are going in the long haul, but it might
upset the timing.
428 The commitment that we have made that if we are
licensed in Vancouver Citytv will now go immediately to eight hours of priority
programming, which speaks to your policy, is, we think, an important commitment
and recognition of your policy, but yes, we would certainly entertain that,
429 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Tell me, when
you are prepared to consider a commitment, maybe not 39 but 35, which is the
Canadian average, how best do you think the Commission could -- comment
dire donc -- follow annually that promise and really make it transparent to
430 Because that was one of the problems we were
having and we have discussed it -- well, Madam Wylie did at the time of the
TV policy discussion. Expenditures is a difficult thing to pinpoint and really
to make comparison between players.
431 So what would be your suggestion in terms of
being capable of following the accountability of the
432 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, maybe I can lead
433 Obviously in crafting our whole application we
were very cognizant of the TV policy. We felt first and foremost we needed to
come with a proposal and proposals that build on that policy. So, hence, our
emphasis was on the eight hours.
434 We, as you know, already live with expenditure
commitments currently. We live with them and the Commission has proposed that we
would continue to live with them on specialty services. So we think again the
fact that we are used to that approach and we don't believe that has ever been a
difficulty, certainly in respect of our dealings with the Commission, then if
the Commission chose to go that route with this application, I think the
experience we have with specialty reveals that it is workable.
435 I would also mention, however, that if we were
to look, in a sense, at the tier of how we approach this, we thought that first
and foremost was the eight hours. That was the major commitment.
436 The next most major important commitment was
not the expenditure percentage but the special commitments to Canadian
programming where we thought there was the greatest national public policy need.
That was the feature film commitments of $18 million and the dramatic
serial of $6.7 million.
437 So, in a sense, our recommendation would be
that if you wanted to ask a special Canadian expenditure commitment from us it
would be in those targeted areas and then, as a third option, we would
definitely obviously, as Mr. Sherratt has said, consider the more
traditional percentage of revenue route.
438 MR. SHERRATT: We would clearly accept
439 We were just thinking about how -- you
were wondering how are you going to report that, how it's going to be
transparent to the public. While our revenue figures and our dollars are
confidential in our annual return, there would be no problem in making public
the percentage that is a condition of licence. That wouldn't cause us a
440 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Thank
441 About the eight hours you are offering in your
approach, although you are not obliged to not be recognized as a larger group
given that you are not reaching 70 per cent of Canadian viewers yet you are
ready to go eight hours on the whole CHUM group.
442 What would be the situation if we were to
licence only Vancouver and not Victoria or only Victoria and not Vancouver? Is
it conditional to getting the two licences? How do you approach
443 MR. MILLER: To go on our whole system we would
need both licences in Vancouver and Victoria, but should we only receive the
Vancouver licence, which is the City side of the format, we would go with the
eight hours on Citytv. If we were only licensed for Victoria we would go with
the eight hours on what we call the NewNet, which is the Ottawa, Barrie, London,
Windsor, Wingham system.
444 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
445 MR. SWITZER: But to add a final bit of clarity,
Madam Chair, of course if we win in Vancouver the eight hours inside Vancouver
of course stands and is in no way connected to what may happen in Victoria and,
of course, the reverse would also be true.
446 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
447 MR. SWITZER: Locally.
448 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good. Well,
449 Before we go into the programming arena I would
invite us to have coffee and we will come back in 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1050 / Suspension à 1050
--- Upon resuming at 1110 / Reprise à 1110
450 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: May I call the
hearing to order please.
451 We will proceed with the programming questions
to CHUM group for their application in Vancouver.
452 Before we start on specifics on programming, I
note that you are describing the Vancouver communities as being very different
from the Victoria one and that you are bringing the concept of City to Vancouver
in your application, which has been developed in Toronto. But I would like to
hear you on how you intend to serve the communities of Vancouver differently
from the ones in Toronto.
453 Because I know, and I have been
learning -- since I was a Canadian, I suppose, but with the help of Cindy
it has really developed -- the understanding that Vancouver and B.C. is
different, not only Quebec. This is different too.
--- Laughter / Rires
454 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So can you tell
us, because I think it really bears an importance in our consideration to
understand that you are -- well, are you importing a formula that works
well in Toronto here into Vancouver and that may be a pattern, but what elements
will really be reflecting the tastes and needs?
455 MR. ZNAIMER: Thank you, Madam
456 I will begin by making this important point:
When we talk about bringing the influence of Citytv what we mean is a set of
philosophies. What we mean is, well, an arsenal of production
457 What we think we have developed, and what a
good part of the world thinks we have developed, is a machine for local
reflection so that when you pick this machine up and you put it in the middle of
Barcelona it will give you back Barcelona. When you apply it to a different
place, it gives you a different place.
458 In other words, these are not Toronto ideas.
These are a series of mechanisms that better allow each individual environment
to reveal themselves.
459 Perhaps the best analogy I can offer is, if you
were to analyze MuchMusic and MusiquePlus side-by-side you see that they share
certain philosophical principles. They share an operating system. They are both
street front and store front. In fact, the schedules have a kind of a mirror
construction, but the content is almost 100 per cent different. It is a
different milieu, the hit parade is different, the artists that are featured and
brought forward are different and there is no mistaking the fact that even if
the channels are side-by-side that they each serve their respective communities
in a profound and an important way.
460 So we are not bringing Toronto to Vancouver, we
are bringing a mechanic which will better allow Vancouver to speak for
461 To the degree that there are also additional
and important cultural differences between the two communities they are, in
addition, brought out in our applications.
462 Well, let's begin with what is probably the
first most powerful thing that strikes you when you arrive in Vancouver. It's
true that Toronto has every bit the cosmopolitan complexion that this community
has, and yet as you walk the street it is not so apparent because the presence
of these ethnic communities is diluted in a much larger
463 When you arrive here and you confront the Asian
presence, the Chinese presence, the South Asian presence, it's striking and it
immediately zooms to the top of the agenda in terms of what we are proposing to
do, for example, in this program schedule.
464 If there were a single word that might wrap
that up as a slogan that word is "bridges". We think that this is the place to
advance the next generation of programming that addresses ethnic needs and
465 In the first incarnation -- and I know
something about this because Citytv was very influential in the first
incarnation of ethnic services in Canada, what you had was a series of language
pockets. If you were trying to follow this, say on Citytv on a Saturday or
Sunday morning, you would find yourself watching a program in Japanese which was
then immediately followed by a program in Hindi. Not very likely that the group
that was following the Japanese program would stay through to the Hindi program
which in turn was followed by an Italian program, and so on.
466 That service was necessary in its time and
remains useful today and no one is advocating that any of that should disappear
from the scene, but the new and important item on the agenda, of course, is now
how to bridge these pockets and begin the task of communication between these
different communities and, equally important, from the communities back to the
467 As an example of that we are advocating, one
program that I think will be an amazing thing for people to confront -- and
that is in prime time where the public is used to getting a mainframe,
conventional English-language newscast -- we are proposing five days a week
to offer newscasts in Chinese and in Punjabi probably, which will then be
subtitled through the machinery of open captioning so that the larger community
can now look in on the specific ethnic community, get a sense of its agenda,
begin to meet its personalities, begin to confront its opinions and have a view
to how, well, a given event is being read across all of these different
468 I think that is a powerful and new idea which
are proposing in this application then, which really was as obvious as an
objective in our Toronto experience.
469 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Still, you know,
when you compare MusiquePlus and MuchMusic, certainly there is a difference,
although there is a sharing of same artists and same elements, the very language
and the French artists being there not that obvious on MuchMusic already is a
distinction in itself.
470 Here what you are putting forward is like the
ethnic diversity, or the cultural diversity, as you call it, of the city, but
there are many other elements, I suppose, from the people of Vancouver that
distinguish them from Torontonians.
471 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
472 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So what would be
the other elements --
473 MR. ZNAIMER: Sure.
474 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- you put
forward to establish still the city's signature, yet, you know, one that would
be appealing and where -- especially that you are making the comment that
from your assessment what is offered right now in the market doesn't have that
local flavour. So I suppose it means more than the cultural
475 MR. ZNAIMER: I was offering that only as a
476 Another important issue is structural, and that
is all the stations in this market at this point are owned by networks or are
actually affiliated with networks and so the minds that govern them are network
minds. That's straightforward and to be expected.
477 So there is also the question of the
thoroughness of the local personality. You can, in fact, as a professional
watching television, see the scene between the bit of cutaway which is supposed
to be the local expression and the national program stream.
478 Our proposition is for a station that is local
all the time, 24 hours a day, and that can be experienced not only in the
big program blocks but even in the relatively subtle little bits in between.
That is where the station is frequently revealed, and that is where you can also
begin to reveal the city back to itself.
479 We came forward with an innovation many years
ago. We began to put cameras all over a community, first on the major traffic
arteries and then on some of the beauty spots and we could call upon these shots
at all times, they were available to us live in order to give a sense of that
city in terms of its weather or a particularly gorgeous moment that would add,
even in a small way, to the experience of knowing where you are and enjoying
480 Vancouver is also known for any number of other
important sources of energy. The musical artistic scene here is noteworthy and
particular. It is different from what we have in Toronto or indeed anywhere else
in this country. We have always had a sense of that and we have done as best as
we could with the resources and mandates available to recognize that
481 We have the indefatigable Terry David Mulligan
here careening up and down the coast, but there is so much that you can do with
one person and the camera.
482 We have known for some time that there is an
actual music sound that is particular to this place. There is a particular
interest in the environment, in the ecology, there is a nascent high technology
scene here that is really quite remarkable and probably links up to what is
happening south of the border along the coast and we have the intention of
addressing all of those particularities and have done so in the schedule that we
483 MR. MILLER: If I can add, Madam Chair, on the
structural elements that Moses was speaking to, I think first of all it starts
from a philosophy of operation which is that the local general manager has the
autonomy to run the local stations. The station is run here and you would know
from speaking to any of our general managers here that they run those stations
484 So central to a Vancouver station is that it is
operated from here. That is number one.
485 Number two, we have, in our view, maximized the
amount of local programming in the station in a way that we are not aware of any
other broadcaster even attempting to do. We have 30-and-a-half hours of
station-produced programming, plus another 11-and-a-half hours of independently
produced local ethnic programming, for a total of 42 hours. Again, we
further break that down into our news programming, there is a newscast morning,
noon, suppertime, nighttime, morning show, innovative in a way that not only
provides nascent information but celebrates local artistic and musical talent
invited to the station to show.
486 Then the non-news programming, which again the
Commission has identified as a very important objective. What we bring uniquely
is, of course, our ability to develop local talent and to showcase that talent
487 So not only do we show Vancouver to itself, but
we are able to take Vancouver national and international through the medium of
produced magazine shows and our other outlets.
488 Denise and others can comment more about that
489 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, thank
490 If we break down your different -- we will
come back to the non-use and non-local because in the programming you are
proposing which will be like more the reflection of what is on City, either your
national rights of American programs or Canadian ones that you are proposing to
develop, there is a strong component that is local and regional, the
491 There is some confusion in our heads comparing
different papers that you have produced and we would like to really straighten
that out with you this morning. It is about the original local
492 Depending on the document, one being the
Executive Summary or in the Schedule 2, there is reference to 29 hours
a week of original local programming in comparison to 30.5, and I was wondering
which one was the real proposal and eventually the one you would be prepared to
493 MR. ZNAIMER: Thirty-point-five is the one I am
prepared to commit to.
494 Maybe Jay can explain the
495 MR. SWITZER: If there is any discrepancy I will
take full responsibility.
--- Laughter / Rires
496 MR. SWITZER: But the program schedule as filed,
the Schedule A and the Schedule Bs are absolutely correct as filed in
terms of the numbers to us. They add up to 30.5 hours of original local
497 In our application page numbers the
Schedule Bs would be pages 245 and 246, and in your page numbers I believe
they would be pages 52, 53 and 54.
498 There may have been other references elsewhere
in various paragraphs of words, but in a technical sense these are the numbers
that we are absolutely standing behind.
499 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And that would
be a commitment you would be prepared to make?
500 MR. SWITZER: Of course.
501 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
502 What about the 2.5 hours a week of local ethnic
503 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, I began to explain
504 I think it is in some ways the most radical
proposition that we are putting forward and we are trying to actually work
through in our own minds in detail how that might operate. But the notion is
that there would be this half hour every day, that the programs would be run in
the dominant language.
505 We are going to take some advice from James,
obviously, as to how much Cantonese, how much Mandarin, and in the South Asian
languages I know there is Hindi and Punjabi and Bengali, and so on, but there
would be the dominant foreign language with the simultaneous provision of
subtitling. We intend to do that not only in the news but actually elsewhere in
ethnic programming, all with this view of building the bridge.
506 Jay, do you want to add
507 MR. SHERRATT: If your question was: Is that a
508 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
509 MR. SHERRATT: It is.
510 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
511 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Would that be
news about ethnic groups in the city, or would it be news done in a language
that reflects the cultural diversity of the city?
512 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, both.
513 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
514 MR. ZNAIMER: News needs to be news, but the
agenda of those newscasts will be markedly different from the agenda of the
mainstream newscast and by following that newscast through the medium of the
open captions you are going to get a much deeper understanding of what is
happening in each of these communities.
515 MR. SHERRATT: I think one of fascinating parts
of it to me, of the concept, is that, well, it's the first half hour of an hour
block and the second half hour is English. The anchors in the first half hour
will be part of the second half hour because they will be bilingual. In the
first half hour they may be doing it in whatever language and explaining or
talking about English clips that -- English-language clips and then in the
second half hour they will be doing it the other way.
516 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So that is what
you meant by the bridging that --
517 MR. ZNAIMER: Indeed, yes.
518 MR. SWITZER: This is a very innovative new
approach to prime time local news in a major market station. We are talking
about half of this half hour newscast primarily being done in Chinese and the
other half primarily being done in Punjabi. It is very innovative in that, to
the best of our knowledge, there has never been an attempt to build bridges to
communities and to reflect communities in a way that is done integrated inside
the conventional newsroom and the newscast.
519 If Prem Gill has anything else to add this
would be a very appropriate time. This is most innovative.
521 MS GILL: I would like to add
522 We talk a lot about building bridges between
communities, but I think a newscast with an approach like this, it's also
important that it will be building bridges within the Punjabi community, within
the Chinese community.
523 For example, I may be sitting there with my
grandmother who predominantly speaks Punjabi and we will get a better
understanding by me reading the subtitles, because my Punjabi is not always that
great, and her hearing the news in Punjabi will be able to share and make more
connections between generations within cultures that there is the constant
struggle going on within the community between different generations as there
are across the board in all cultures.
524 So I think it is a really interesting proposal,
because it is not only building bridges between different ethnic communities and
people from various backgrounds, but it's also important within those
communities to recognize it will be building bridges between different
525 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: How is the
market and viewers reacting to subtitles?
526 I remember a period where there was a strong
reaction. Maybe being Francophone myself we have been used to that and for many
years there was a degree of tolerance and then at one point there was not the
527 What you are proposing to do asks a certain
degree of tolerance and openness. How have you assessed the success of that
528 MR. ZNAIMER: I think it also has to do with how
well it's done.
529 I mean, my own recollection, and one of the
reasons why, perhaps subtitling, say of cinema, fell into disfavour is it was
hard to read. You know, frequently you had kind of white letters against white
backgrounds and it seemed to be done in a way mostly about minimizing the
530 There are now new technologies that make it
much easier to do and much easier to consume in the sense of reading. In fact,
if you go to many bars in town you will see that often they use open captioning
while they keep the sound down, say on a MuchMusic. It's a peculiar experience
and an interesting one.
531 I think that in this city, in this city people
would be particularly motivated. It will have something to do with the
generations, but those that I have talked to are really excited about this and
are intrigued because they are aware. World events are seen differently in
532 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Have you done
some focus groups on this?
533 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, I was responsible for
our community consultations.
534 I wouldn't call them focus groups in the
official sense of the word, but working with Prem and others, and James Ho, we
must have met, quite frankly, on the order of 200 to 300 people. We had this
discussion very frankly and, if I can take us back a little bit, I think what is
unique about what we are proposing is two elements.
535 First of all, the notion that we have not only
people with coloured faces, if you will, on the air, but the resources and the
specialty and the production expertise behind the scenes to make sure that it
does reflect and be involved in the community.
536 Secondly, what was also vital in the
discussions that we had, was that we found different mechanisms of doing the
bridging. The issue of subtitling was the favourite response, if you
537 Another option which we have provisioned for is
the use of sound. What you are familiar with in watching MusiquePlus is often if
the interviewer is viewing someone in English they will sort of translate back
into the other language. As Sarah Crawford can speak to, it's a vehicle used in
the education community that has been very effective in terms of closed
538 MR. ZNAIMER: Fred has just passed me a little
note just to remind me, those of you who have experienced our CP-24 Channel in
the greater Toronto area, that is a complex frame with two picture boxes and a
fair amount of alphanumerics in it. The text box in that frame has had instant
539 So I think that it is a generational thing and
because it is better done and because people are more open-minded, I think there
will be a great deal of interest in the subtitling.
540 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So you are
working on the convergence between computer and the TV box?
541 MR. ZNAIMER: We are indeed.
542 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You have also
promised in your application of 14.5 hours a week of local non-ethnic news. You
would be prepared to make that commitment.
543 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
544 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
545 What about now the original local non-news type
of programming you are promising. You are talking about 12 hours of original and
two hours of repeat.
546 Would you care to make a few comments on
547 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes, I would.
548 One of the things that we developed, again it
is technique and it has become very identified with Citytv, but it is technique
which is tremendously effective in revealing the particularity of places. It's
called "Speaker's Corner". It's a simple enough idea. We cut the corner off our
building, we put up what looks like a phone booth but in fact it is a video
booth and it is activated by $1.00 coin, which we then give to charity, and the
549 It is in that sense, without mediation people
who use it don't have to explain themselves, they don't have to get dressed,
write a speech, do all the things that kind of inhibits communication. What they
do in "Speaker's Corner" is really quite remarkable.
550 So we are proposing, for example, on the one
hand, a relatively simple show to do from a production point of view, but hugely
revealing of what is going on in town, what is on people's minds, not only from
the point of view of opinion but from the point of view of performance. People
do wonderful, unexpected and very particularly local things in "Speaker's
551 On the other end of the scale, complex and
costly, we are proposing dramatic evening serial, well, a form of production
that I guess French Canada is more familiar with than English Canada in the
telenovella sense, and the whole idea of that serial is that it is set in a
television station, and since we quite deliberately make our television stations
a reflection of the reality of the larger community we think that is a good way
of telling the story of the larger community.
552 In addition to that, it will be visibly set
here in town so here is another kind of commitment, a first for us really
because it is the manufacture of fiction and at the other end of the economic
scale from "Speaker's Corner", but both of them will deliver material that is
intensely local and very different from what you might find anywhere
553 MS DONLON: I would like to add to that, if I
554 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. Why don't you jump in,
Denise, because I was going to get to the music stuff.
555 MS DONLON: Yes. Well, more than music, I mean,
I think you can really see a community best reflected often in its arts, you
know, in the ballet, the symphony, the theatre, the music, the dance, the visual
arts. We all know that Vancouver especially is very rich in all of these areas,
not only because we have been covering it for years and trying to bring it to a
national and international exposure, but also very much a part of the cultural
diversity that is present in the area.
556 So, you know, there is an opportunity to do
more with, say, First Nations visual art form, you know, Ballet B.C. here is
very distinctive versus the rest of the ballet companies across the country,
557 So without going into too many specifics there,
you can see from the schedule that there are some very aggressive music,
entertainment, documentary, concert-type programming in the
558 Obviously it would be up to the local managers
to decide which subjects best reflect the community here. Off the top of my head
I can think of three or four documentaries that I would like to see immediately
under way with some of the more unusual and distinctive people in the arts and
559 So the type of programming that we are speaking
of is the type of programming that again speaks to the whole idea of building
bridges in the community, a Vancouver weekend show two nights a week that can
talk about what is happening in town, and not just the mainstream music and arts
and entertainment but also the fringes in the cultural ethnic entertainment and
drama and theatre that is going on in town.
560 We can also, as Peter mentioned earlier, take
the type of programming that is produced here and include it in the specialty
programming not only in Canada but also around the world, and there will
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
561 MS DONLON: -- talk about WestTV, which
Marcia is most familiar with, as well as TV Frames. These are both cultural and
entertainment music programming that will best reflect the
562 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: In your
Schedule B you have a fall 2000 kind of proposal or hypothesis where you
have five hours a week of local programming in prime time.
563 Would you be prepared to make a commitment of
564 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. We are eager to make that
565 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: When we were
talking about the 12 original local non-news programs, that did exclude the
local ethnic non-news program that you have on your weekend
566 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
567 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
568 Let's talk now about two things I am concerned
with. Hearing your KVOS answers about how it would -- you would be in a
good position to repatriate rights and revenues, advertising revenues because of
the unique situation you have viz-à-viz KVOS, some may say that that means that
you bring local news, local non-news programs but the rest will be essentially
feature films, which is your signature, but a lot of American programs as well,
on one hand.
569 The other question that we may have as well is:
If ever we were to consider two licences, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver,
how much would be common programs for the two?
570 So the question being, you know: What is the
--- Pause / Pause
571 MR. ZNAIMER: I will begin and I think Jay will
want to add something.
572 Very little. And where it exists it will be on
the acquisition side in certain kinds of programming.
573 Jay can give you some detail on
574 So what we are proposing is two sharply
differentiated services, each with their local constituency so that the viewer
will be enriched and get a different -- well, not only a different program
schedule, but a different viewing experience out of each of these two
575 As to the point you are making about American
programming, well, I think that is a constant feature in the schedule of every
Canadian station and every Canadian option that is being proposed. Even the
multilingual application has an awful lot of American programming in
576 What is important in this case is that we will
bring that programming back onto a Canadian channel and with it, yet not only
the repatriation of programs and revenues but viewing. We think those viewers
can develop the habit of watching our station and we will lead them into the
very unique portions of the schedule that they can't find anywhere
577 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I guess if you
allow me, my question is: I understand that there is, you know, bringing back
the rights here and the advertising revenues here. You can have on the local
type of programming certainly an input, where my question is really addressing
the priority program.
578 What is the advantage on the priority program
front if we were to licence CHUM?
579 MR. ZNAIMER: Jay?
580 MR. SWITZER: We have spent some great length
581 If I may briefly give you some comfort first on
the KVOS area, which you asked.
582 There might be the perception that 10s of hours
of programs may be repatriate and that may, I guess, be the fact. But the only
thing that matters is the small number of hit programs.
583 It is likely, in terms of the programs I
discussed earlier, in both Vancouver and Victoria, it may only amount to three
or four hours per week, but those are their top rated hours and therefore are
important to the station and therefore would put KVOS much lower in the pecking
order and in terms of all of the way time is sold, and so on. It would have a
much leveraged effect.
584 So if we can with certainty bring back
"Seinfeld" or "Star Trek Voyager", or so on, it can be a small number of hours
and make a very big difference.
585 As to priority programming, you raise a very
important point. These two applications each on their own have, in this
application -- in these applications have eight hours of distinctive,
non-duplicated priority programming and it is not our intent to bring a common
eight hours. The point here is to add diversity to the markets and diversity to
586 We have had some discussion about what we might
be able to do to provide comfort that in fact we are not investing in common
priority programs, while at the same time acknowledging that particularly in the
area of Canadian feature film it wouldn't be in the viewer's best interests, nor
the producer's best interests, to have some shows not seen in the market because
a movie that might do very well and score a four or five rating and have a share
of 15 or 20 per cent is still not seen by 80 per cent of the people in
587 So what we discussed and what we are very happy
to table, and in fact commit to if it's appropriate, is that we would give
comfort that no more than 20 per cent of the priority programming on one
station would appear on the other in the same broadcast year. That is a very
serious and tough commitment in that it gives everyone comfort that we are
indeed talking about -- with the exception of occasional movies or a
program here or there -- distinctively different and separate priority
588 MR. SHERRATT: I would like to add a question
that I had on this when it was being discussed. I think it's a key part of
589 There is no intention that they would be
simulcast on the two stations or probably even in the same week. In long form
programming it might be months later that it would be seen on the Victoria
station or vice versa. There is time separation as well as the quantum that is
590 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So when you are
saying 20 per cent in same year, that doesn't mean it would be simulcast.
It could be apart?
591 MR. SHERRATT: It wouldn't be.
592 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It would be
593 MR. SWITZER: We would absolutely commit to not
simulcasting, but in addition --
594 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It would be two
595 MR. SWITZER: Primarily for feature films and
other specials limit our duplication to 20 per cent in any one broadcast
year. That would allow us to premier a new Canadian film in January on one
station and perhaps the following summer on the other.
596 MR. SHERRATT: The only time you would get
into any simulcasting is in some national emergency or major event where
everybody is covering the same thing you might get some duplication. But there
is no intention of duplicating any of the local programming or any of the
acquired entertainment programming and in simulcasting it.
597 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You were saying
that that is your commitment on the priority program, the eight hours. What
about acquisition? Because what you said starting your intervention was that on
the acquisition front it would be different than for Canadian
598 MR. SWITZER: Yes. We have given this great
discussion and it was not a very difficult discussion.
599 We have filed essentially separate
applications. These proposals are different schedules. We have discussed and are
very prepared to commit to a very high degree of separation and specifically
that no more than 10 per cent of the broadcast day of one channel in any
way will appear on the other channel in the same broadcast year.
600 We think that gives great comfort to the
Commission, to the other players in the system and provides maximum diversity
and maximum benefits to the viewers, which is the whole point.
601 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So 10 per
cent of a broadcast day in a broadcast year?
602 MR. SWITZER: Yes. And separately, as we just
discussed, no more than 20 per cent of the priority
603 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Priority
604 And you would be prepared to have that as a
605 MR. ZNAIMER: We would.
606 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- in your
licence if you were to be granted a licence?
607 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
608 I will move now to the ethnic or cultural
diversity expression where you say that you will have 15 hours,
10 hours of a certain kind, which would be Punjabi and Chinese, and then
one hour per day -- or I'm not sure, one hour or -- that would be five
hours, rather, of Italian and Portuguese and others.
609 My question is not the exact amount, but how
did you come to that division of 10 hours of Chinese and Punjabi and the
rest? You know certainly the market itself, but I suppose it is not because you
have a proportion in the market that necessarily you have a market that is
responsive to a City concept, for example.
610 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, I will lead on this.
Obviously Lenny Lombardi and James Ho will wish to add additional
611 In a way it's obvious, it is where the
population bulk is. The Chinese population number is significant, the most
significant in this market, and that is followed by the South Asian community
and then by quite a substantial difference by the other language groups, the
Italian, the Spanish and the Persian, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino. So that is
the big stroke of division.
612 Did I understand the end of your question to be
whether or not we knew these communities were responsive to a City-style
613 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, yes.
Because, you know, there are the demographics
per se --
614 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes.
615 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- but you
are talking about trying to appeal to a certain audience.
616 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, that
617 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You know, have
you made a correlation between your concept and what you see in those
communities as being --
618 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes. We think we have, and again
it speaks to this question of first generation versus second generation and
619 My experience has been that second, third
generation people of ethnic origin -- I notionally am one of those --
are interested in retaining a link to their heritage, but they need to have it
in a language that they can speak and understand and frequently, you know, some
resident Japanese may not speak Japanese. As Prem said, her Punjabi is not the
greatest and I no longer speak a very fluent Yiddish, so English becomes
620 I think, Lenny, you may want to add something
about the research you did at CHIN regarding the emerging importance of English
as a kind of a linguafranca -- to mix a metaphor -- for this
621 Once you are dealing in second and third
generation, then you are dealing in younger people and it is the younger people
who want smart television.
622 That is the other big thing that I have come
across in all the people that I have met, that there is a certain kind of a
stigma to first generation language programming because it was typically done in
conditions of very tight budgets and, you know, very restrictive program
machinery, little box studios, and so there is a certain kind of stereotype that
goes along with that.
623 Of course, second and third generation people
want to have that heritage connection in English in programs that do them proud,
in programs that will hold their attention, in programs that speak the modern,
highly visual language of the new generation. So we thought that they would
respond well to what that same article referred to as the zippy, sexy and fun
style of Citytv.
624 Do you want to make a point
625 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have picked
up on different elements of the article.
--- Laughter / Rires
626 MR. LOMBARDI: Madam Commissioner, I would just
like to add that is one of the major reasons I am here, as Moses has
627 CHIN Radio in Toronto has been producing ethnic
programs for the last 35 years on both radio and television and from the
very beginning when we began with City Television we shared a common vision and
saw the need for this type of programming. In fact, City added ethnic programs
to their list before CHIN came along to them to produce them. So they were long
committed before we came along, but we grew together.
628 One of the interesting things that we have seen
happen in Toronto is that there is an evolution going on within ethnic
broadcasting today and we see the emergency of second and third generation
ethnic Canadians being left out of the true content and the cultural content of
the programs that were originally designed for their parents and their
629 What we are finding is that that community is
being left out. In fact, a common scene might be where kids come home from
school or from work and their parents might be watching special programs on the
evenings or on the weekends and have no opportunity to really relate because
their language skills are quite deficient and they have an opportunity to
participate with the family. Nor does anyone else with a language deficiency in
that community or even outside that community have an opportunity to tap
630 So what we did is we conducted a survey of this
phenomenon and we found that there is a very high propensity, a very high
desirous level of bilingual format, bilingual programming to the second and
third generation part of our community.
631 I think that is what really excited us when
City proposed very much the same type of format for their television programs
here and we feel that is really the most effective way now to build bridges
between those multi-generations within the ethnic communities.
632 But maybe even more importantly is to finally
give an opportunity to people outside those communities an opportunity to look
into and explore and to understand what their next door neighbour is all about.
I think that really is the magic of this format and I think that is what is so
exciting to me.
633 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
634 MR. McKIE: If I might add, Madam
635 MR. SHERRATT: Go ahead.
636 MR. McKIE: I'm Duncan McKie from Pollara
Research in Toronto.
637 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oh, I'm
638 MR. McKIE: I'm way back here in the
--- Laughter / Rires
639 MR. SHERRATT: I was just going to introduce
640 MR. McKIE: But I would like you to know, I
didn't pay for this seat.
--- Laughter / Rires
641 MR. McKIE: We did ask people quite explicitly
those who recognized City and there were quite a few in the Vancouver area, as
you know, from our research.
642 We asked people if they found that format
acceptable and surprisingly those people we identified as being part of the
ethnic community here found it more acceptable than those people who weren't a
part of the ethnic community here.
643 So I think there has been a recognition amongst
the potential audience in the marketplace, especially those who come from ethnic
communities, that City does bring an approach which they would find acceptable.
It is also more acceptable amongst young people.
644 So you find this correlation in three ways:
Acceptable; acceptable to the ethnic communities; and acceptable for the second
and third generation in the ethnic communities amongst those people who did
recognize City and recognized the format of programming that they bring to the
645 MS GILL: I would just like to add that as a
second generation Canadian it is important to acknowledge that I am not a
visitor to this country. I was born in Vancouver and I am a
646 I think it's important to acknowledge that in
this proposed 6:00 p.m. news hour we are not only -- it's not only
going to be in a third language, but it is going to be on an English-language
station acknowledging that we are the new mainstream, that we don't need to be
designated or relegated to a multicultural channel or just to multicultural
programming. We are part of the existence of an English-language
647 For me personally, I think that is extremely
important because I'm not just a second generation Canadian, I am first and
foremost a Canadian.
648 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
649 In Schedule B we understood that what you
were proposing, the Vancouver metro block, that there would be 8.5 hours of
original programs for three hours of repeat.
650 Did we read correctly into it?
651 MR. SHERRATT: All eyes go to Jay.
--- Laughter / Rires
652 MR. SWITZER: You did read correctly, Madam
653 In discussion since I know the team with James
Ho and Lenny Lombardi for that block has stepped up their commitments to
original and have reduced their amount of repeats. But that was the way it was
filed in September.
654 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So what should
we read now?
655 MR. SWITZER: The weekend block, the Vancouver
metro block on Saturday and Sunday will be original every week.
656 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Meaning how many
hours a week?
657 MR. SWITZER: The entire block -- I have it
all broken down into sub-pieces. I would have to add it up. But the entire block
from 9:00 a.m. on Saturday until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday; beginning
8:30 a.m. Sunday right through until 1:30 p.m.
658 The only one hour that would not be regional
every week is the program we have broken out as "Pacific Rim", the sole
exception, where we listed 22 original hours each year and that would
continue with 22 hours.
659 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. So there
would be only one hour of repeat. The rest would be original?
660 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
661 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And you would be
prepared to commit to it?
662 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
663 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Okay. Thank
664 Now, my last question is around independent
producers and what you have proposed there.
665 I would like to understand how you see your
programming developing with the help of the independent producers and how much
from the Vancouver region and the B.C. region.
666 Can you give us some clarification on this,
667 MR. ZNAIMER: We can. We are focusing our
connection and our commitment to commissioning work on this most difficult, most
costly and under served area of Canadian feature film.
668 Now, having said that, Jay can begin to give
you some detail.
669 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
670 The major thrust and probably most important
financial commitment we have made is in the area of feature film. It amounts to
a minimum of $16 million for the support of new B.C.-based feature films
and an additional $1.5 million of script and concept
671 All of those monies, 100 per cent of those
monies will be spent with B.C.-based independent producers.
672 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That is true
also of the $1.5 million? We were not quite clear about that because we
understood that it would be mainly -- or that there would be like a
positive bias towards Vancouver, but we didn't read into it that all of it would
be for the B.C. independent producers.
673 MR. SWITZER: If there is any doubt, our intent
and our commitment is to spend that exclusively in the local market and those
development monies will be divvied up by the local development
674 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
675 What about your local programming, not the news
but the local non-news, the ones from ethnic programs and the ones non-ethnic.
Are those things you do in-house or will you work with the independent producers
676 MR. SWITZER: To start with, a major block, 11
or 11-and-a-half hours per week will be produced independently by James Ho and
his company in association with Lenny Lombardi in association with the station.
Our biggest number of hours will be independently produced.
677 The in-house magazine shows that we have
discussed at great length will be produced by the station. Some of the
documentaries may be -- music documentaries may be commissioned by
independents, but primarily the music and concerts, and so on, will be produced
by the station.
678 Where we draw the line in terms of what we do
well and what we want to help independents with is feature film. The information
and entertainment and magazine kinds of things we can do extremely well and
build a critical mass, which Denise may want to speak to. In the area of feature
film, that is where we can do the most good with independents.
679 We are talking about $16 million which we
believe will help kickstart more than 49 new major independently produced
feature films in this market.
680 We have been very, very active for many years.
This is not something new. This is not a shot in the dark. This didn't come out
of nowhere. In the past four or five years we have been -- from Toronto,
just because of the quality of projects that have come across our desk --
supported more than a dozen Vancouver films. It is ironic -- when I say
"we" I'm speaking of the Citytv station -- that in the last few years the
best projects that have come across Diane Bayne's(ph) desk happen to have been
681 It is the most important thing we can do. To
able to kickstart at least 49 new independent films is the biggest
contribution we believe we can make to the independents here in
682 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What do you do
in Toronto? Do you do the same thing where your collaboration with independent
producers is mainly on the feature and long form
683 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
684 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: -- and
magazines are done in-house locally with the station?
685 MR. SWITZER: Yes.
686 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: That is the same
687 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, if we could just
take a moment, I would like Paul Gratton, who is our guru in this area, to
perhaps give you some idea of the magnitude of work that this $16 million
can be levered into.
689 MR. SWITZER: And additionally why the
indigenous films here, the independent films are struggling. There is lots of
business going on, but the ratio of films that are independent is not where it
690 Paul is the Vice-President and General Manager
of Space and Bravo!, but also is very active in the film community, sits on
the -- is the Chair of the Qujutro(ph) Award and other things. He speaks
with some knowledge.
691 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION:
692 MR. GRATTON: Okay. Well, as you know this year
British Columbia is extremely thrilled because their production levels have
exceeded $1 billion for the first time and have actually -- Vancouver
has exceeded Toronto in terms of production activity in the local
693 The problem, the fear has always been the
amount of indigenous and Canadian production that forms a portion of
694 It has always been felt that it is a fragile
infrastructure that has been built up because if the exchange rate on the
Canadian dollar were ever to reverse itself a lot of the production would
695 B.C. indigenous feature filmmakers have felt
that there are two major structural impediments to them getting a proper
proportion, if you will, of the feature film money in this country. One
is -- basically most of the funds in this country for feature films are
triggered by one of two things, either a broadcast licence or a commitment from
a Canadian theatrical distributor.
696 In British Columbia there is only one active
Canadian theatrical distributor of note, and that is Red Sky Entertainment. A
number of them have gone bankrupt over the years. So the feeling is that the
industry is concentrated in Toronto and it is very hard to form
697 There has also not been an active broadcaster
who is very interested in Canadian feature films and therefore the indigenous
B.C. feature film community really feels that there are major structural
698 This particular initiative, 50 movies over
seven years, would represent such an injection of commitment it would access all
kinds of other funds and our feeling is that the talent is here. There haven't
been the structural opportunities for B.C. filmmakers to really tell their own
stories to their own community.
699 The fact that we have done over 12 over
the last few years attests to the fact that we saw the talent here. There was no
particular reason for us to licence B.C.-based films except that they were the
best scripts crossing our desks. Yet the frustration from the community that
there was no local broadcaster that was committed to feature films is a
complaint that I have heard at the Canadian Television Fund, where I sit on the
Board, it's complaints lodged against Téléfilm.
700 I mean, it's just a structural impediment and
we think this is one of the most dramatic commitments that any broadcaster could
make to supporting indigenous B.C.-based Canadian feature films. We think it
will make the difference -- a huge difference to the
701 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
702 What about the initiative of soap opera? You
talk about staging it in Vancouver. You are talking about partnering with the
CBC to do it. We are glad to see that they have the money to do it --
--- Laughter / Rires
703 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I couldn't help
704 But what is the plan there? Are you thinking of
working with an independent producer at all and would, you know, people from
Vancouver be involved?
705 MR. ZNAIMER: We may. We haven't actually locked
this one down. In part --
706 MR. SWITZER: The money is
707 MR. ZNAIMER: The money is locked, yes. The
money is locked, but how we go about it hasn't been absolutely locked
708 I was about to say, in part because we would
like to learn how to do this as well, you know. Frequently at hearings like this
there is always a discussion of talent and talent is not in the room. Well,
talent is in the room and we would like to step up to this challenge of learning
how to do it and learning how to do it well. But we have picked a genre that is
curiously absent from Canada when you consider just how prevalent soaps and
telenovellas are elsewhere in the world of television.
709 It has always been a bit of mystery to me why
it hasn't taken root in English Canada. So I think we can make a real
contribution. We have been in discussion with the various funding mechanisms in
Canada to see whether they might allow another creative team to take a run at
this thing, and my general philosophy is the more creative people working the
more you are going to get good results. I mean, excellence just needs activity
in order to generate the excellence.
710 So the answer to the question is: We would like
some involvement in this field ourselves. We are not sure that the rules will
change sufficiently to enable us to do that and if they don't we will figure out
another way which is almost certain to involve local producers.
711 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
712 That really covers the different questions I
had for you.
713 Commissioner Grauer has a question and probably
our legal counsel would like to complete my interrogations.
714 Thank you.
715 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
716 I just had one question about your ethnic
717 If I understand it correctly, the immigration
patterns in Toronto or in eastern Canada differ quite significantly than
immigration patterns here, not only in where the immigrants came from but also
718 I wonder if you could elaborate a bit on that?
I think we have several, really, generation or two difference, do we
719 MR. ZNAIMER: Yes, I think what you are saying
is true, though if you are looking to the largest ethnic group, the Chinese are
it in both Toronto and Vancouver, as an example. And, of course, with time you
see the fading away of the preponderance of the previous generation's important
720 Lenny can speak to what is going on in the
Italian community. There was a time when ethnic programming on Toronto
television meant Italian programming. Of course that has
721 There is also a big social class difference in
the nature of the immigrants. For a long time immigrants were refugees, often
arriving at the shore without very much and looking for an improved
722 Latterly we have had the phenomenon of very
well-heeled immigrants who bring with them great resources, great
entrepreneurial skills and have a different level of confidence about themselves
and about their insistence that they get some service.
723 Did you want to add something to
724 MR. SHERRATT: No, but I wondered if James might
want to comment.
725 MR. HO: Yes.
726 There is a great difference at this moment
between Vancouver and Toronto area. In Toronto, as Moses was mentioning before,
when you talk about ethnic market you talk about generally overall a very
rounded ethnic market. There is a bit of everybody in there, whereas in
Vancouver it is very directed to very distinct Chinese and South
727 The Chinese market at this moment, in our
estimate, is somewhere around 360,000 to 380,000 population. It is almost
reaching the same number as Toronto at this moment, except that Vancouver is
newer and is a smaller place than Toronto so it is much more heavily
728 We did a figure recently, the Vancouver --
just we are talking about strictly Vancouver, the population of the Chinese at
this moment is somewhere around 28 per cent. Then if you talk about
Richmond, where you land at the airport, it's somewhere around 32 per cent.
But if you talk about the whole lower mainland together -- I don't want to
bore you with all these figures -- it's somewhere around 24 per
729 So really the Chinese population has increased
tremendously and it will continue to do so.
730 What I'm finding, this whole thing is so
amazing and so comfortable for me to be with CHUM is that from the experience,
from what I'm seeing -- a lot of people will do a lot of lip service, but
CHUM is the only group where I have seen they did whatever they said. They will
do it. And they will commit to it. It is out of respect to the community, it is
out of respect and recognizing the changing demographics.
731 There is one thing that is very important as
well that is affecting this community. Yesterday we designed to be a Premier,
Dosanjh. It was clearly history in the making yesterday. We are at this moment
becoming mainstream. Whatever we do, whatever the Chinese community or South
Asian community -- whatever is happening is affecting everyone else. That
is something that we can't ignore.
732 Then there is another situation where I'm
seeing clearly that is being ignored or not being put is whatever is happening
our community is not being broadcast to the mainstream community. A lot of
people didn't know that actually what's happening in our community is deeply
affecting everybody else: Housing market, cars, school, policing, you name it,
every single factor.
733 There is a need. When we talk about
communication between cross-generations it is important, but we also wanted to
do something that is projecting ourselves and letting the mainstream know what
is happening in our community as well. It is very, very important because we are
interrelated. We are affecting each other, everything we do.
734 Why is Vancouver being picked by Chinese
population? It is not only because of good air, it is not only because of water,
it is not only because of the environment, everything is included. Plus, a lot
of people didn't know that, that we actually have the best and the most
reasonable priced Chinese food here.
--- Laughter / Rires
735 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And no
736 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
737 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
738 Madame Assheton-Smith
739 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you, Madam
Chairperson. I just have a few follow-up questions.
740 First of all, Mr. Miller, you indicated
that you have some revised audience share and reach projections. Could I ask you
to file those with the Secretary when you have a chance, please?
741 MR. ZNAIMER: Absolutely.
742 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Coming back to the original
local programming, you confirmed that the commitment is to 30-and-a-half hours,
30.5 hours per week. You also indicated that of that 17 hours will be
local news and 12 hours will be local original non-news. That adds up to
29 hours a week and I'm just wondering what the remaining one-and-a-half
hours per week will consist of.
743 MR. ZNAIMER: They are the two hours of locally
produced magazine-style programming showcasing local musical and artistic
744 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Okay. Thank
745 Moving to feature film, are you making a
minimum commitment to a certain level of feature films per week?
746 MR. SWITZER: We have made, in this application,
a commitment to telecast a minimum of 100 hours of Canadian feature film
per year in prime.
747 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Are you committing to a
minimum number of Canadian feature films in prime time?
748 MR. ZNAIMER: I think the first question was
about film in general?
749 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes.
750 MR. ZNAIMER: Could you repeat that
751 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Are you making a commitment
to a minimum level of exhibitions of feature films per week?
752 MR. ZNAIMER: Well, the schedule provides for
one every evening in prime, one every afternoon -- do we
753 MR. MILLER: Counsel, the model we have worked
on is the model that we have with Citytv, so it isn't a per week commitment,
it's the 100 hours --
754 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Per year.
755 MR. MILLER: -- per year commitment of
Canadian feature film. So that's what we are proposing here.
756 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: And of those is there a
minimum level that will be in prime time, or is that the 100 hours will be
in prime time?
757 MR. MILLER: That's all in not only
758 MR. SHERRATT: Just for the record, the reason
for that is so that you can judiciously schedule those Canadian movies to
maximize audience. You don't want to take a Canadian movie that has a potential
in it and put it up against some blockbuster thing that is coming in from the
United States. That doesn't give it fair exposure, so you could -- Jay
sometimes will move something just because of that. You have to give it the
opportunity to be seen.
759 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
760 You have made a number of commitments with
respect to programming in your discussions with the Chairperson. These include
the hours of original local programming per week, the hours of local programming
in peak time per week, hours of priority programming per week and priority
programming in peak time.
761 Would you accept any or all of your programming
commitments as conditions of licence?
762 MR. ZNAIMER: As discussed, yes.
763 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes to all of your program
commitments? You would accept those as conditions of licence?
764 MR. SHERRATT: I think the list you gave is what
we went through with the Chair this morning. We commit to all of
765 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: You do commit to all of
766 A final technical question.
767 If for any reason Channel 42 were not
available in the Vancouver area, would you be willing, ready and able to use
768 MR. SHERRATT: Yes.
769 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
770 Those are all my questions.
771 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Mesdames,
gentlemen, thank you very much.
772 MR. SHERRATT: Madam Chair, thank you, and thank
you for your very thorough examination this morning. We appreciate it and we
appreciate the Commission's efforts in this regard.
773 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank you
774 We will stop for lunch. We will be back at
quarter to 2:00.
775 Madame Secretary, which applicant will
776 MS VOGEL: It will be the Rogers
777 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1220 / Suspension à 1220
--- Upon resuming at 1350 / Reprise à 1350
778 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
779 Madam Secretary.
780 MS VOGEL: Our next applicant is CFMT-TV, a
division of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, who are applying for a broadcasting
licence to carry on a multilingual ethnic television programming undertaking at
Vancouver. The new station would operate on Channel 42 with an effective
radiated power of 30,700 watts.
781 The Applicant is also proposing a
rebroadcasting transmitter in Victoria, British Columbia on Channel 53 with
an effective radiated power of 18,400 watts.
782 You may proceed whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
783 MR. SOLE: Madame la Présidente, Members of the
Commission, I am Leslie Sole, Executive Vice-President of CFMT Television. I
have asked the other members of our panel to introduce themselves this
784 MR. VINER: I am Tony Viner, President of Rogers
785 MR. LOH: Mason Loh, Vice-Chair of Community
Advisory Board LM-TV and Managing Partner of Loh and Company, a law firm in
786 MS ZINIAK: Madeline Ziniak, Vice-President and
Executive Producer, CFMT-TV.
787 MS JAFFER: Mobina Jaffer, Partner in the law
firm of Dohm(ph) & Jaffer and a Chair to the Advisory Board to
788 MR. NELLES: Jim Nelles, Vice-President of Sales
& Marketing, CFMT-TV.
789 MR. KHAN: Viddear Khan, Program Controller at
790 MR. AYLEY: Tom Ayley, Vice-President, Financial
791 MR. IP: Jackson Ip, Director of Program
Development and Community Liaison.
792 MR. MEHTA: Paritosh Mehta, Independent
Community Production Co-Ordinator.
793 MR. SOLE: Also at the table behind, from the
Commission's left we have Dr. Heather Martin who will be our Commissioning
Editor, Documentaries, if you approve this application.
794 We also have the authors of our studies, Lock
Sing Leung, President of LLS Market Research Incorporated; Ken Koo, President,
Koo Creative Group Incorporated; Bruce Neve, Vice-President, Media, The Media
Edge; and Jane Armstrong, Senior Vice-President, Environics.
795 Also, Aidan O'Neill of the law firm Johnston
& Buchan is our legal counsel for this application.
796 Ms Jaffer will begin our
797 MS JAFFER: I am pleased to appear before you at
such a historic time in the life of this province and Canada. The election of
Mr. Dosanjh yesterday as the leader of his party and as Premier of British
Columbia is a clear and powerful demonstration that we live in a multi-ethnic
and multicultural society.
798 Here in the lower mainland, we have a large
community of Canadians from Europe, South America, Africa, South Asia and Asia
whose mother tongue is neither French nor English. We are not a small minority
of the population, yet we live without real access to one of the most commonly
used media in this country -- Canadian television programming in our native
799 As a result, we are limited in our ability to
interact as a community within our original cultures, as well as within the
broader Canadian society as a whole.
800 Therefore, we become isolated and lack a true
sense of identity.
801 A common experience is that the cultural life
of immigrant families deteriorates. The customs that they use to guide their
lives are based on the cultural practices of their homeland at the time that
they came to Canada. They are frozen in the past. They have no clear sense of
how a culture and customs have evolved in their homeland countries. At the same
time, they do not have access to the information that they need to become more
fully integrated into modern Canadian society.
802 If we are frozen in the past, or uncertain
about our relationship to modern Canadian society, how can we deal effectively
with broader social issues that all Canadians face: Like societal or family
violence; like equality between men and women; or discrimination based on sexual
803 Canada has a unique identity in the world
community. That identity is directly related to our history of successfully
embracing multiculturalism. The CRTC has played an important role in protecting
this country's commitment to multiculturalism. There is an urgent need for you
to affirm these values and to provide the opportunity to all of us to become
truly integrated into the fabric of this province and Canada.
804 MR. SOLE: We are here today to present our
application for LM-TV, a new multilingual television station to serve ethnic
audiences throughout the lower mainland and Victoria.
805 We have prepared a short video presentation
featuring Canadian recording artists Neil Donell and Lisa Dalbello to show you
the people we intend to serve and to provide a brief overview of our
--- Video Presentation / Présentation vidéo
806 MR. SOLE: There are three principal reasons why
we believe that the approval of our application would be in the public
807 One, public demand for multilingual television
808 Two, the social value of what we are proposing;
809 Three, the contribution to the local community
and to Canadian creative talent.
810 First there is a broad and deep public demand
for increased access to multilingual television programming. This demand will
increase as the ethnic population continues to grow.
811 Currently there are approximately 800,000
people of ethnic origin in the lower mainland and Victoria, more than the entire
population of Winnipeg or Hamilton or Quebec City, all of which have local
television services. By 2006, there will be almost 1.5 million people of
ethnic origin in this market.
812 The market research that we filed with our
application clearly shows that there is intense demand in this market for what
we are proposing. In a survey of over 1,000 Chinese and South Asian
Canadians by Environics, nine out of ten respondents said that they or someone
in their household would be interested in watching programming on
813 Support for LM-TV is strong across all segments
of the ethnic audience, including those members of ethnocultural groups who are
most fully integrated into Canadian society.
814 For example, over 80 per cent of
respondents under the age of 40 and who speak English said that they
personally were interested in watching ethnic programming in their mother tongue
815 Our findings confirm what the Commission heard
during the extensive public consultations it undertook last year on the ethnic
broadcasting policy. Based on those hearings, the Commission took note in Public
Notice 1999-117 of:
"...the high demand by Canadians for programming in a variety of
816 MS ZINIAK: Social value is the second reason
why we believe that the approval of our application would be in the public
817 Based on almost 15 years of experience at
CFMT, we know that effective multilingual television broadcasting is about more
than just reflection.
818 Effective multilingual television broadcasting
gives people information that they need in a way that they can understand. It
provides newcomers with information on how to enrol their children in school,
how to access medical services, how to pay their taxes and how to deal with
family violence and other important social issues.
819 Multilingual television helps people who feel
isolated by language or culture. It gives people the tools and information that
they need to participate more fully in Canadian society.
820 We will do this by providing ethnic audiences
with a full multilingual television service. LM-TV will offer 75 hours of
ethnic programming each week, including 63 hours of Canadian programming
and 21 hours of ethnic programming in prime time.
821 We asked LLS Market Research to examine the
attitudes of members of the Chinese, South Asian, Korean and Filipino
ethnocultural groups towards local media and to probe their interest in
822 That research clearly shows that members of
ethnocultural groups believe that LM-TV would make a significant contribution to
their lives, to the lives of their children and to the interaction between
823 The participants in the LLS Market research
study are concerned that media coverage of their community tends to emphasize
negative or sensational events. They believe that English-language media in
Vancouver talk about them, not for them, and that their voices are not heard.
They believe that LM-TV would contribute to a more balanced portrayal and would
give them a voice that they now lack.
824 MR. LOH: I am often asked by the local
English-language media to give them the perspective of the Chinese community on
the issues of the day. However, there is no single, easy answer to that
825 The Chinese community is diverse. There are
many different views and opinions. We need more than the occasional sound bite.
We need broadcast services that are prepared to invest time and energy to allow
us to develop our views and to present those views on a consistent basis. We
need broadcast services that will allow us to exchange information and to
discuss our diverse points of view. As we come to know ourselves better, we will
also be better equipped to come to know others.
826 LM-TV will allow us to express who we are
through our language and our culture, while at the same time affirming the
social and political values that underpin Canadian society.
827 MR. SOLE: Service to the local community and
support for local and regional Canadian creative talent is the third reason why
we believe the approval of this application would be in the public
828 LM-TV will provide over 38 hours of very
distinctive, local Canadian programming each week.
829 Our local programming will directly respond to
the broad service requirement that the Commission set out in the new ethnic
broadcasting policy. We will provide programming in at least 15 languages
to no less than 18 different ethnocultural groups.
830 LM-TV will employ 138 people and will
enter into strong working relationships with local, independent, ethnic
producers. We will also implement the independent British Columbia ethnic
initiative to support the growth and the development of independent ethnic
producers from many of the smaller ethnocultural groups.
831 We will spend over $6.8 million to
undertake a number of significant initiatives to strengthen the local
reflection, to serve the local community and to support Canadian creative
832 We will spend $1.8 million to enhance our
local programming by establishing a multilingual television news bureau in
Victoria and by hiring ethnic freelance reporters in other Canadian cities and
in the Asia-Pacific area. These initiatives will increase our ability to bring a
consistent Canadian ethnocultural perspective to the coverage of provincial
politics and to other domestic and international issues. As well, the LM-TV news
bureau in Victoria will establish an important presence for multilingual
television at the British Columbia Legislature.
833 Recently, we worked with the British Columbia
government to produce "The Courage to Stand", a special award winning program
that examined issues of hatred and racial conflict based on the events in
Oliver, B.C. involving a local Internet access company. Given the success of
that program, we propose to spend $350,000 over the term of the licence to
produce more special programs that will examine new issues and emerging needs in
the community on an immediate basis.
834 In addition, we will spend $4.5 million to
support documentary filmmaking in British Columbia.
835 Of that amount, we will spend $3.5 million
to licence no fewer than 50 new documentaries produced by British Columbia-based
documentary filmmakers. These documentaries will address contemporary or
historical themes and the issues of relevance to ethnic audience and will be
broadcast in prime time on LM-TV and CFMT. We expect that this commitment will
trigger a total investment of up to $15 million in new documentary
production in British Columbia.
836 We will spend $100,000 each year to support
script and concept development for documentary programs in British Columbia. We
will strengthen the international marketing capabilities of B.C.-based
documentary filmmakers by providing grants of $45,000 each year to cover the
cost of attending international film festivals and markets and for marketing
837 We will hire Dr. Heather Martin, a B.C.-based
documentary filmmaker and an experienced Commissioning Editor. She will
implement these important initiatives.
838 In addition, we have worked with the British
Columbia Institute of Technology to establish a scholarship program to support
the study of broadcast journalism by over 40 students of ethnocultural
origin. This initiative will entail expenditures of $175,000.
839 We appear before you today as a dedicated and
proven team of multilingual television broadcasters. We are eager to take on the
challenge of establishing a new local multilingual television station in
Vancouver by combining local broadcast talent and creative resources with our
840 MR. NELLES: In addition to the many benefits
that it will have for local audiences, we believe that LM-TV also will benefit
the ethnic broadcasting industry in British Columbia.
841 LM-TV will complement other ethnic broadcasting
services by offering the members of many different ethnocultural groups free,
over-the-air access to a basic level of programming in their mother
842 Based on our experience in Ontario, we are
confident that LM-TV will expand the third language advertising market in
British Columbia, to the benefit of all ethnic broadcasting
843 Over the past decade, CFMT has almost doubled
its third language advertising revenues and has increased its national third
language advertising revenues by 500 per cent. Our efforts to develop these
advertising markets made it easier for other services to sell third-language
844 Today, there is a flourishing ethnic
broadcasting market in Ontario, with many more ethnic services generating
substantial third-language advertising revenues than there were 10 years
845 LM-TV also will have the least competitive
impact on the incumbent English-language television stations.
846 LM-TV will not compete with English-language
television stations in the peak revenue-generating
8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. prime time viewing period. When the four
English-language private television stations in this market are simulcasting
popular U.S. programming, LM-TV will be offering ethnic -- and
predominantly Canadian ethnic -- programming.
847 LM-TV will compete with KVOS for non-news
viewers in the early and late evening viewing periods. Just as we have done so
successfully in Ontario, we will employ a highly effective counter programming
strategy to repatriate viewers and advertising revenues to the Canadian
848 MR. VINER: Madame la Présidente, Members of the
Commission, we have set out three principal reasons why we believe that the
approval of our application would be in the public interest:
849 One, LM-TV will meet the broadly based and deep
demand in this market for increased access to multilingual television
850 Two, LM-TV will make an immense social
contribution by providing programming for ethnic audiences that is for them, and
which gives them a voice in the mainstream of the Canadian broadcasting
851 Three, LM-TV will significantly increase the
choice and diversity of local programming in the Vancouver television market and
will make a substantial contribution to the development of local and regional
Canadian creative talent.
852 LM-TV will be a full multilingual television
station. As shown on the chart beside me, it will fill an obvious hole in one of
Canada's most ethnically and linguistically diverse markets by providing
75 hours of high quality multilingual television programming each week. It
will serve the objectives of your new ethnic broadcasting policy and contribute
to the achievement of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
853 As my colleague Mr. Sole said, we are eager to
take on the challenge and excited by the prospect of serving ethnic audiences in
854 MR. SOLE: Thank you, Tony.
855 We look forward to any questions or discussions
that would follow.
856 Thank you.
857 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
858 It is going to be Vice-Chair, Madam Wylie, who
will be asking the questions.
859 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good afternoon ladies and
860 Mr. Viner, I understand Mr. O'Neill is your
lawyer and that he is a copyright expert. Didn't you know Mrs. Bertrand has a
copyright on this?
861 MR. VINER: No, I didn't, but I will speak to
counsel about that.
862 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Speak to her lawyer.
--- Laughter / Rires
863 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: As long as it
has been taped, no problem.
864 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That's right.
--- Laughter / Rires
865 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I have a number of
866 Your application may be as zippy as CHUM'S but
it is certainly more complicated to figure out exactly where we are with the
programming, the multicultural programming, the English programming and the
Canadian content, et cetera, so I have a number of questions to get a better,
clearer picture of what your commitments are.
867 Then I will have some questions about the
projected revenues and the possible impact on the market.
868 But first I would like to discuss with you,
since this is a multilingual application, how you arrived at the groups that you
869 To do that, in part I looked at the table that
you attached yourself to Part I of your Application at page 30, which
shows, for example, that German is the second largest cultural group and yet it
only has, I think, a proposal of some 30 minutes of programming a week,
whereas the Chinese community already has -- there is already two specialty
services in the market.
870 So I am a little curious about how you arrived
at the choice of the groups that you intend to program to.
871 MR. SOLE: Well, after 15 years we have
developed internal policies to lead us to these decisions.
872 Paritosh Mehta, who is responsible for those
policies, might give you an idea of just what process we used in reaching our
873 MR. MEHTA: Thank you, Leslie.
874 Commissioners, as a part of my job as an
Independent Community Production Co-ordinator I receive about 300 proposals
every year. As you can imagine, it's a very complicated process picking up, you
know, how we choose the language.
875 At CFMT we have devised a process called an
ethnic policy procedure, which we have already filed with the Commission. There
are six criterias we look for when we choose the language. Now, keep in mind,
there is no single criteria -- we take all the cumulative criteria
876 The first one is the language. We take into
account the extent and need for language retention in a particular
877 Second, we look for culture, the evidence of
diversity, politics, religious, arts, leisure, the origins of a particular
878 Third, we also look at link to the homeland,
the respective community strengths and the need for information from back
879 We also look at immigration patterns, the
population base and immigration patterns of a language-specific
880 We look at reasons for immigration, date of
881 Television programming. We look for
availability of researchers, producers and skilled people from within the
particular community to produce a program.
882 Finally, we also look for commercial
infrastructure within the particular community to produce -- to kind of
support a program like this.
883 We have employed this criteria very well at
CFMT and hence we have kind of exceeded our compliance by producing about
20 languages for 19 different cultures.
884 Let me give you an example about how these
things work. For that let me give you the example of how we choose the Tamil
program in Toronto at CFMT.
885 This is a relatively new community in Canada. A
large part of the community has come to Canada as refugees. Many of the people,
young and old, are having difficulty integrating in the Canadian system because
they have a problem with the language and they are essentially Tamilese speaking
people. They understand very little English.
886 This community also maintains a strong link to
its homeland and yearns for programming from back home. The program "TV Shalom",
what it does is essentially twofold: It provides information and community news
in Tamil, but it also helps in maintaining the culture, which I think is very
887 Furthermore, there is a large commercial
infrastructure within the particular community which helps support the
888 So these are some of the steps that we take in
order to choose a particular program or a language at CFMT.
889 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: One of the steps you took
was to have a survey by Media Edge. When I look at it, at page 16 it says that
the Chinese community -- the key findings include:
"...that the Chinese communities continue to be the best served by the media,
although somewhat under served by local news and in terms of programming
reflecting local lifestyle."
890 So later on we can discuss just how this is met
by the application viz-à-viz the Chinese community, but this surely is one means
that you have put in your application of finding out where the need was and the
Chinese community considered itself the best served, according to the results of
the study you commissioned.
891 So I'm rather curious about the fact that it is
so predominantly the group that you will program to compared, for example, to
the South Asian, if we skip over number two which is the Germans. I find
it -- I still am fascinated by the choice in the
892 I understand there is obviously a commercial
aspect to this which you put at the end, of course, of your list -- maybe
Mr. Viner didn't.
893 But in the ethnic policy at paragraph 23
the Commission says that it will look at the distinct groups that will be served
based, obviously, on demographics, on the services already available, the degree
of support shown, which you mentioned, by local community organizations and that
these will be relevant factors.
894 So with regard to the South Asian, in order to
understand better just what is the comparison of service between the two, when
you say "South Asian", what are the language groups that -- when I look at
your program schedule it is difficult to know just how much programming you
would consider being targeted to the South Asian group because sometimes it says
"South Asian", which I suspect is because it is programming in English, and then
sometimes it's "Hindi, Punjabi".
895 What are the number of hours that are skewed to
what you consider to be the South Asian community so that we can compare it to
896 MR. SOLE: We can give you the numbers group by
group and how we have defined them, if you would like, or I
897 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, my specific question
was South Asian. You have prime ethnic programming, which I understand to be
Chinese and South Asian, and then ethnic diversity where there are a large
number of groups targeted with sometimes -- oftentimes as little as half an
hour a week. So let's focus on the two large groups.
898 In order to compare the number of hours to the
Chinese compared to the South Asian, what do you consider in South
899 MR. SOLE: Viddear.
900 MS KHAN: Thank you, Leslie.
901 Commissioner Wylie, the sample schedule
provided shows 16.5 hours for the South Asian community. That can be broken
down as follows: 7.5 of these hours are in English to target the entire
community; two hours will be in Hindi; two hours in Punjabi; one hour in Tamil
and four more hours in various languages in the acquired hours. That totals
902 MR. SOLE: And the Chinese?
903 MS KHAN: In Chinese programming there is a
total of 20 hours, 16 hours in Cantonese and four hours in
904 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the other smaller groups
you use the criteria that your colleague outlined earlier to choose the other
groups that you target programming to?
905 MR. SOLE: On a general basis, yes. It's not,
you know, completely without population.
906 I think Madeline, as the Executive Producer in
Ontario, might be able to give you a little more insight on -- it's not as
rigid as just following those five guidelines.
907 MS ZINIAK: Thank you, Leslie.
908 I would, however, like to use the German
example because I think it is a very good one in representing the dynamic and
the process at which we begin to build a schedule and then I will use this as an
909 I think it's important to note that we do
recognize that there is a significant number of people in the lower mainland and
Victoria of German ethnocultural origin, but in developing our schedule and
establishing the amount of German programming, for example, that we would
provide, we did follow the established procedure. We also consulted with the
local community to ascertain the level of interest specifically in German
910 These consultations would lead us to conclude
that there is not as high a demand in the German ethnocultural group for
language programming as there is for ethnocultural groups. Specifically, it is
the list that Paritosh did outline, but that does work together, not
911 The conclusion that we had in the lower
mainland was confirmed, for example, by a positive intervention from the
Mennonite Central Committee from British Columbia. They expressed their support
for LM-TV, but they did not express an immediate need in having access to German
programming. These findings, frankly, are also confirmed by our experience in
Ontario. CFMT has not received a proposal for German programming in over nine
years, but this doesn't mean that we won't in the future.
912 I think it is important, in our conclusion on
the schedule that you do see before you, that in that way we have concluded that
at present time a half of German programming would respond to that demand for
such programming in the market.
913 But as we work and have long term relationships
with communities, and we have to in order to thoroughly understand their needs,
I would like to demonstrate the bit of complexity that there is in working with
these communities where we do have to actually intrinsically work with them on
various committees and to actually work with them towards goals of
multiculturalism, work with them on family violence initiatives, for
914 I think it is important to note, although a
schedule is a schedule which is represented by a half hour program, this is
appointment television for many communities.
915 For example, the Armenian community in southern
Ontario is around 20,000. They perhaps have an air time of Saturday morning, but
this is the only time that they have the time to watch a program in their
language where they are very proud of people in their community like Adam Egoyan
who will speak some Armenian on that program and is a role model for that
community and that is why they do make the time to watch that.
916 Although a schedule is represented, one could
see it is only a half hour program, but indeed it is very important for those
communities to have and it is appointment television.
917 I could say that in other programs that we have
had where we know that actually people have changed their lifestyle around, for
example, some of the telenovellas that we have. We actually conducted focus
groups which happened to be in the evening at the time that our telenovellas
were running and, unfortunately, the focus group had to be stopped because the
people involved actually went and watched the programming that was offered on
918 I think this demonstrates certainly the kind of
appointment television that is important to these communities, specifically with
smaller communities where perhaps this is the only kind of -- the only
program that you do have.
919 MR. SOLE: I think I would add to that,
Commissioner Wylie, by saying this is Canadian content. This takes preparation,
this takes a broad range of talent, a great number of people. When we see one
hour of Korean, it is one hour of Korean in digital with the support of field
cameras and professional journalists. It is not the stereotypical multicultural
or ethnic programming from the 1970s.
920 So we emphasize the fact that you can connect
to Canada on a weekly basis for an hour with news and public affairs. We don't
think an hour is insignificant and the communities certainly tell us that it
isn't. I think it's quite important.
921 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I was more curious about
the emphasis on Chinese given the market here --
922 MR. SOLE: Yes.
923 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and also given the
study, the Environics study that you have deposited which was conducted, if I
understand, only among the Chinese, the South Asian, the Korean and the
924 MR. SOLE: That's correct.
925 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The numbers show that those
who speak Punjabi -- I'm looking at page 6 of the Environics
study -- expressed the most interest in watching the proposed station and
also that the South Asians, nine out of 10 report viewership of Rogers
multicultural channel, I think 91 per cent. Considering they seem to be the
established interest, how many hours did you say of programming would be in
926 MR. SOLE: Two.
927 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Two hours a
928 MR. SOLE: But I would add to that that there is
going to be five hours in prime time of IndoCanadian or South Asian news every
929 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In English. In the English
930 MR. SOLE: In English, but in context. If we go
to Surrey and the reporter finds someone who wants to speak on the events of the
day in Punjabi, they will speak in Punjabi and we will subtitle it in
931 Maybe Mobina can give you a sense of the South
Asian IndoCanadian community and the inclusiveness of doing something like our
932 MS JAFFER: Thank you, Leslie.
933 Commissioner, the South Asian community comes
from many parts of the world. I myself come from Africa, some of us come from
Europe, some of us come from India, some of us come from different parts of
India where we speak in Hindi, we speak in Urdu.
934 So as a community for the last five years that
I have been working with CFMT on bringing the same kind of programming to
Vancouver we have heard that what the community wants is news content
that -- a local news content. It can be in English, but it has to be
related to the community.
935 Let me tell you, at this point it is easier for
the community sometimes to get news of India, news of Africa than news of what
is happening on the streets of Vancouver.
936 One of the issues that I'm sure all the
Commissioners are aware of is, for example, the issue in the Temples, in our
Temples of tables and chairs. Unfortunately, this issue we believe has only been
portrayed from the mainstream media, not from the community point of view. What
the South Asian community wants is a way to be able to see themselves, their
issues reflected on news.
937 It really came home to me when I was in Toronto
when I saw the issue -- unfortunately the sad issue of the Columbine
killings. That same evening I happened to be in Toronto and I saw on CFMT that
they had gone to speak to South Asian children in the schools about this issue.
What I saw was a voice for the South Asian children to speak about how they felt
about the Columbine issue, how they saw racism being played out in their schools
and how they felt that there needed to be more communication with their
938 The need for our community here is to have our
stories told by us and not about us.
939 MR. SOLE: I think I would like Mason Loh to add
maybe some perspective on the same topic only from the Chinese community's point
940 MR. LOH: Yes.
941 Commissioner Wylie, the Chinese community, as
you said, has some very good specialty Chinese broadcasting service as provided
by the Fairchild group. They do their job very well. However, the need is not
satisfied by a long shot.
942 As I understand it, the specialty channel by
Fairchild is by subscription only and it reaches a household penetration of
about 28,000, but the community here is made up of about 80,000 households. So
that gives you an idea about the penetration.
943 But in terms of the actual access issue, the
community here I think needs a free over-the-air station.
944 To give you an example, my in-laws are senior
pensioners and they were immigrants from Hong Kong a few years ago, and they
rely -- they are very loyal customers of Fairchild TV. However, every time
I go to their house for dinner, you know when -- they always have the
station on and they really enjoy the program. However, from time to time they
will make comments about the cost of subscribing to the service.
945 I have to say that they are one of the more
fortunate households that could afford it as compared to many households
probably couldn't, because a basic cable channel here in Vancouver probably
works out to be about $10 a year for the channel. The specialty channel for
Fairchild works out to about $400 a year. So I don't blame my in-laws for
giving those complaints from time to time.
946 Then there is also the issue about editorial
diversity and choice issue, because Fairchild is very good at what it does, but
I think when it comes to coverage of news and current affairs, which is the area
that we are talking about with this application, we really want to emphasize the
news, Canadian news, local news, national news and current affairs. We want to
bring those things to the community to inform them, to help them to integrate,
to participate in Canadian life.
947 We think that diversity and choice would help
the community to grow to be more integrated with Canadian
948 MR. SOLE: I would make one summary point.
Everybody has been using the words "new millennium" so I guess I will use it
today and then promise not to use it again.
949 We are about to reach an era where there is
going to be truly unbelievable choice. That choice is going to come into this
country in any myriad of languages, probably all languages in one way or
another. Because this country is so committed to diversity in its complex social
and cultural make-up there should be a Canadian voice. There should be somebody,
some source to interpret Canadian issues on a regular basis for the larger
950 I think that Fairchild is a wonderful choice of
entertainment, the same with Telelatino or ATN, but I think as we look at the
chart behind me that says a million, four, eight, eight in 2006, there has to be
an interpretation of Canadian events available for the new ethnocultural
951 Finally, Commissioner Wylie, today it is South
Asian and Chinese. In 10 years we really don't know.
952 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But if you do get a licence
only for seven years we can expect that your plan is to have your main languages
Chinese and South Asian --
953 MR. SOLE: I'm sorry. Our experience in Ontario
is that the so-called entry time period is around 30 years. We haven't been a
country that has done this long enough that it could be clinical, but the
Italian community in Ontario is large, many of them speak English, and I can
tell you that our Italian newscast is still very healthy because it talks about
what is going on in Toronto, what is going on at Queen's Park.
954 I would say, yes, it's probably true that South
Asian, Cantonese and Mandarin will be the most powerful forces in this first
licence period. I think that would be a safe assumption.
955 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And then you would commit
to, I guess, a number of other languages. In the 15 languages, then you would
remove Mandarin, Cantonese and the South Asian languages that you have mentioned
and the rest of the 15 would be some of the languages we see in the application,
and those could change?
956 MR. SOLE: Do you mean would we make a
957 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Your commitment is to 15
958 MR. SOLE: And 18 cultures, yes.
959 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and
18 cultural groups.
960 So 15 languages. How would you count this,
since this would be a commitment of your licence. Would you say that you have to
remove from the 15, Mandarin, Cantonese, four different South Asian
languages and then there would be other ethnic diversity languages which
961 MR. SOLE: We think that --
962 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- vary over
963 MR. SOLE: That would be the sum. The sum would
be 15. The sum has been 15 traditionally.
964 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but not 15 over
and above your prime ethnic. It would be the prime ethnic including the variety
of South Asian languages are included in the 15?
965 MR. SOLE: Is the suggestion that our 15 and
966 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No. We just want to
967 MR. SOLE: Well, yes. Yes, we could do
968 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You did that. You said 15
groups. I'm trying to ascertain whether these 15 language groups
969 MR. SOLE: Yes.
970 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- four South Asian
971 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do.
972 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- two Chinese,
Mandarin and Cantonese.
973 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do.
974 MR. VINER: I think, Commissioner Wylie, it is
important to note that we have said at least 15 languages and 18 groups. We have
the same commitment at CFMT in southern Ontario. In fact, we do 22
975 Perhaps Madeline can explain, but we often have
13 weeks of programming in a certain language, because that is appropriate, the
size of the group and the infrastructure and the talent that is available, and
then we will follow that with another in a completely different language at the
same time on the schedule, another group.
977 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. Mr. Sole, I am
not suggesting it is not enough. It's the opposite. Because 30 minutes a week
sometimes is not sufficient.
978 MR. SOLE: My friends and colleagues will tell
you that I am very easily confused.
--- Laughter / Rires
979 MS ZINIAK: I would just like to add that for us
it is very important. We nurture communities that perhaps isn't even seen on the
station yet, and that is our long term commitment.
980 We have had some wonderful experiences, for
example, with communities that have come forward that we have assessed through
our ethnic policy procedure and have come to the conclusion that perhaps their
entry could be in some areas such as the community channel.
981 For example, our Russian programming went
through that kind of development and actually manifests now in Toronto, in
Ontario to, you know, more than two hours of original programming. But the
procedure was, we actually did ask them to become involved with the community
channel and they honed their craft there and then progressed.
982 I think this is what we do. We have been
doing -- and it has been very successful. Because many communities perhaps
aren't ready immediately for commercial broadcasting and in this way we have
been able to nurture and guide them.
983 We have also -- I think it is important
that this schedule has that kind of flexibility. We have had some situations
where we have been able to respond to some -- unfortunately sometimes some
crisis such as the Polish flood relief, earthquakes in different parts of the
world where at times we weren't actually broadcasting regularly in that
language, but took the opportunity, because we have worked with these
communities, to do a one hour special in that language.
984 This is what is so important when you are
working and guiding with different communities to be able to ascertain who was
there in the community.
985 So, as Mason as said, often we get asked for a
very quick answer for ethnicity. There isn't a quick answer. It's a long term
commitment. You have to know who is in the community, establish a healthy
advisory board that will speak to -- Mobina will speak to, and certainly
work with this to really penetrate and gain the trust of these
986 Because certainly sometimes even the police
can't gain the trust of many communities because of their predisposed fear. It
is important for people here in the broadcasting industry to have relationships
that those can trust -- this is the best way to get a story -- and to
hire those from those communities.
987 MS JAFFER: If I could
988 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Mr. Sole should trust me, I
am just trying to make him be so persuasive that the Chinese licensees won't
even appear in intervention.
--- Laughter / Rires
989 MS JAFFER: Commissioner, if I may, in the last
five years as we were hoping that you would see fit to grant us the licence,
getting ready for this, I have been sent by Tony to Toronto to observe the
advisory board and I have seen it very fluid as before the Italian language
played a very pivotal role at CFMT and as the needs of the community have
changed the Chinese community have now more hours in Toronto than the Italian
community, and this would sort of -- it would be changing as the needs of
the community would change.
990 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, I'm sorry, I
just hate to jump in here but I just don't want to leave the wrong impression
with respect to the Chinese community.
991 There are approximately 300,000 people in the
Chinese community. We are proposing 16 hours of service to them, free
over-the-air service. I think it is fair to say they are the best served. They
said that they were the best served.
992 I think Jane Armstrong may want to comment on
that. But just because they are the best served, they may not be well served. It
is our argument that currently they are under served because they don't have any
free over-the-air programming.
993 Jane, do you just want to just review that part
of the study?
994 MS ARMSTRONG: Sure. Thank you,
995 My name is Jane Armstrong, I am from
Environics. Environics is a research company that has been one of the premier
research companies in Canada for the last 30 years.
996 In 1998 we conducted a survey among South
Asians and Chinese and we asked them a number of questions. One of the questions
we began with was, you know: What are you currently watching? Then we asked
them: How satisfied are you?
997 Among the Chinese group, the group that we are
talking about right now, we found that just 13 per cent actually said that
they were very satisfied with the programming that was available to them at that
time. Another 56 per cent said they were somewhat satisfied. So a
considerable number of people were satisfied. But only 13 per cent were
998 Then when we went on and asked them about the
idea of the new station, a station that would provide local and national news
and programming in their mother tongue, we found that there was not just wide
demand but there was intense demand.
999 We found that six out of 20 Chinese residents
of the lower mainland said that they would be very likely to give the station a
try, and about four out of 10 said that they would be very interested in
watching the station.
1000 Together, when we added up the "very" and the
"somewhat" who said that they would be likely to give the station a try or be
interested in it, we got nine out of 10 saying that they would be
1001 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, that study, as I read
from it before, showed that the need that the Chinese perceived was a need for
more local programming, which I suspect is not found, as you indicated, as
easily on the national specialty services.
1002 But when I look at the amount of local
programming which you would offer to the Chinese, if I look, let's say, at 6.1
of Part 2, your Promise of Performance, I find what 2.5 hours a week of original
local news programming to the Chinese.
1003 MR. SOLE: Yes. The prime time newscast,
1004 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And another 8.5 hours
of news supplied by CFMT, which will obviously not be local.
1005 MR. SOLE: Another 2.5 --
1006 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Of repeats?
1007 MR. SOLE: No.
1008 An explanation of the schedule, we can go
through the numbers. I will quickly explain the --
1009 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, they don't have to
1010 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1011 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I'm just curious about the
small number -- the small number of local programs offered to the Chinese
community, which is your main third language community, considering what is
present in the market now and that you have said at length in the last five or
10 minutes that yes, there are specialty programming -- two specialty
services that offer Cantonese and Mandarin programming, but this local
programming that is lacking -- well, it's not like I find a whole lot of
Chinese local programming, local news on the service.
1012 MR. SOLE: Maybe Viddear can put the Chinese
programming into different compartments and then we can discuss
1013 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, I'm focusing on
local. So the Chinese programming, for example, that will be produced and
exchanged with CFMT, you would have to explain to me how local that
1014 So other than the news, what would be the
local Chinese programming that would offer diversity to that group? I know there
is the problem of over-the-air and paying services --
1015 MR. SOLE: Yes. Okay.
1016 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- but I am looking
at the ethnic policy and a desire to see to it that there is diversity added to
1017 You will hear about it from the specialty
services, the Chinese ones, so this can be a rehearsal.
--- Laughter / Rires
1018 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1019 As a result of this application, we are
proposing a new Chinese morning show. It will be a national morning show. It
will originate in Ontario but would not exist without LM-TV.
1020 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But it's not going to be
1021 MR. SOLE: No, it's not, but it is going to be
national. That is a sort of the sense of what community we are talking
1022 So no, it will not be produced in British
1023 Two-point-five 2.5 hours in prime time of
local news nightly I think is the very succinct answer. That would be 2.5 not
each night, over the Monday to Friday period.
1024 MS ZINIAK: If I can add, when we are taking a
look at programs such as the "Lower Mainland Chinese Report" which is in British
Columbia and also our newscast, our newscast will have a local component, a half
hour local component.
1025 We have found through focus groups and, of
course, through deliberations in the community that key of course is local
information and the synergy that has to exist also with issues.
1026 For example, when we are doing the national
newscast we want a comparative story on -- this is a real story, where the
recent refugees came via boat to British Columbia. The Chinese community in
British Columbia reacted very differently than that of the Chinese community in
Ontario. At this point in time we know it's key for the community to hear the
different perspectives, political perspectives from this community. This would
be the kind of story that would be in the newscast, which could be -- which
would be the local component as well.
1027 So in the first time national newscast for the
Chinese community it would include very much so a half hour local component
which was shot here, was produced here by local reporters and specifically
dealing with local issues.
1028 Yes, the national component would also be
there, but so would the half hour like a newscast would have.
1029 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, if I could just
address myself briefly, though, to this, we are extraordinarily proud of this
national initiative. If we are licensed for LM-TV this is one of the things we
would be able to bring to the table that we wouldn't otherwise be able to
1030 We made the selection based on the research
that we had done and the conversations that we had with the communities which
said -- and I know Mobina has a South Asian example -- we are out of
touch with the communities in Toronto. This is an important part. So what we
have done really has been a response to that. That was a response to what our
1031 It think it's equally important to note that
this is not a one-way street. We have a tremendous South Asian community here in
Vancouver and we are proposing a national South Asian newscast as well to tie
together the two communities. That will originate here in Vancouver and it
enables people in Toronto to have programming that they wouldn't otherwise
1032 Mobina, you may just want to talk about that
1033 MS JAFFER: One of the things that.
Commissioner, we heard when we were speaking to groups is that the Rockies also
apply to us and often we are cut out from what is happening in Toronto, what is
happening in Ottawa. There is an absolute thirst to hear from the communities
across the country.
1034 I myself am a refugee from Uganda. When
Canadians brought us to this country we were spread out across the country. I
have relatives who live in Toronto. As 25 later our issues are the same but we
are separated by the Rockies and sometimes we lose touch because we do not know
what is happening to them.
1035 We have a great need to know what is happening
in Toronto. You may not think that, but for our community that is local news
because that is how we come to know what is happening to those
1036 Plus one of the things, that if you see fit to
grant us this licence, which will be very important for us, is the bureaus. The
bureau in Ottawa, the bureau in Victoria. You know, now the Premier of our
province will be able to communicate with us in Punjabi if you see it
appropriate to grant us the licence. He will directly be able to talk to us in
1037 We have a number of MPs in Ottawa who speak
Punjabi who will be able to speak to us from Ottawa on issues.
1038 I will give you a very specific example. When
the landing fees issues arose, which is a very important issue in the immigrant
community, MPs spoke to the Toronto community through the bureau. I very
distinctly remember Sheila Copps speaking in Italian to the Italian community
about the landing fee. I heard Mr. Gravelle speak to the Punjabi community.
This was in Toronto.
1039 We didn't get that. National news does not
mean that it is not local news. National news means what is happening in our
country. Our country is large, and to me that is still local news. If I was able
to hear from Mr. Herb Dhaliwal in my language what is happening in Ottawa, that
would give me power and knowledge of what's happening in my
1040 MR. LOH: Commissioner, I just want to add to
that the Chinese community perspective from Vancouver is -- in some ways is
not dissimilar to what Mobina has talked about in the South Asian community. I
think those opinions and views are reflected in the schedule and how the
management devised this schedule.
1041 I think I understand the CRTC is quite
concerned about localization of programming, but in a broader scheme of things I
think in English language programming that may be something that is very key
because, you know, you need to segment the market and you need to make sure that
the local views are represented.
1042 But in an ethnic programming situation it
might not be the same because we don't have a lot of service. That is why we are
trying to get this station on the air. When we don't have very much service, you
know, whether it's local news, whether it's national news, they are both
1043 Because for the immigrants, for the people who
don't have access to English language or French language, they need to know what
is happening in the street in their city. They also need to know what is
happening in Toronto and what it is happening in Ottawa, because everything
affects them. What the station tries to do is bring these communities to the
whole realm of Canadian life and not just Vancouver.
1044 MS JAFFER: I would like to, Commissioner, give
you one example if you will let me.
1045 When the international conference was
happening on AIDS in Vancouver, I happened to be in Toronto and I saw -- in
English, but I saw AIDS being discussed in South Asian community. Now, I'm sorry
to tell you I didn't realize that AIDS existed in South Asian community. Now,
that's foolish, it exists in every community, but it's not reflected in our
1046 What was very interesting for me, not only was
AIDS being discussed in the South Asian community, but it was being discussed in
the whole rainbows of communities, for example, Madrasi community, the Gujarati
community, the Bengali community, the Urdu community, the Punjabi
1047 From my point of view, you know, for the first
time I saw a mother, my classmate, whose child was suffering from AIDS on that
program and I thought, "Wow, this is something I never see. I do not see faces
that look like me being reflected and discussing issues that are important to
1048 AIDS is an important issue in the South Asian
community too, but we would very rarely see that in the mainstream. So even
though it is English, it is issues that are important to the community that
would be reflected.
1049 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, my questions are
directed more at the Chinese community. We have two services already in
Vancouver and your surveys and your comments earlier point to the fact that you
are going to serve them more locally. I'm just trying to test to see how much
diversity will be offered to the Chinese community.
1050 I understand it's free, it's over-the-air, but
is it going to be something over and above or different from what is offered
already? The South Asian community --
1051 MR. SOLE: It's going to
1052 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- is not served in
the same manner, so that is another story.
1053 MR. SOLE: Canadian. It's going to be Canadian.
It is going to be about Canadian topics, it's going to be about Chinese Canadian
1054 MR. LOH: It will be different because, as we
mentioned, there will be a Victoria bureau, there will be an Ottawa bureau so we
are bringing those news, especially political news directly to the
1055 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Good answer. I hope that
the licensees of the Chinese services are listening.
1056 Now, your main effort in Canadian content is
towards documentaries. Fair enough. So I understand that it would be $4.5
million over seven years for the production of 50 documentaries under a program
called "British Columbia Documentary Premier Series", which would be $3.5 of the
$4.5 million, and then a documentary marketing and development program, which
would be $1 million over seven years, and what I will call, loosely, script and
concept development at $45,000 a year, which adds up to $4.5
1057 I would like you to explain further the extent
to which this money will go to ethnic producers, particularly -- I think in
your presentation today you said all of it would go to B.C.
1058 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1059 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: How much of it would go to
ethnic documentary filmmakers?
1060 MR. SOLE: Dr. Heather Martin is sitting behind
me. I'm not used to this format so I don't know quite where she is, but I'm sure
she can be helpful on -- I think we have agreed on the numbers as you have
mentioned them and now if it is down to the process I would like to have Heather
answer the question.
1061 DR. MARTIN: Thank you, Leslie.
1062 Madam Wylie, I would like to preface my answer
by saying as a member of the independent filmmaking community here in Vancouver
how excited I am about this initiative.
1063 As you know, the local independent community
is largely a documentary community. Even the filmmakers here who make feature
films, for example Mina Shumm(ph) who made "Double Happiness", start in
documentaries and documentaries are their bread and butter.
1064 Typically these filmmakers make a feature film
every three to four years. In between they make documentaries. This is how they
make their living.
1065 Seventy-five to 80 per cent of B.C.
independents tend to work in documentaries. Yet this kind of initiative,
recognizing the strength of the documentary independent industry has never been
seen her by any broadcaster.
1066 I have -- looking at Téléfilm figures for
example, you will see that typically applications to Téléfilm from Ontario are
50 per cent or less documentaries, and yet there are documentary commissioning
editors in Toronto. I was one of them.
1067 Here in B.C. where typically an overwhelming
number of applications to Téléfilm year-after-year are from documentary
filmmakers, there is no documentary commissioning editor here. There is no full
time position supporting documentaries within a broadcasting operation, and
certainly there are not the kinds of high licence figures that we see reflected
in this application, the strong support for development, the strong marketing
initiative that is reflected in this application.
1068 Now, in terms of the ethnic component of the
documentary strand, documentaries also fit very well into the mandate of
multilingual, multicultural and cross-cultural broadcasters such as LM-TV will
1069 Documentaries tend to be about social issues,
public affairs, political issues, and those kinds of topics fit very well into,
first of all, a primarily news and public affairs station, and certainly the
kinds of stories that are being told here are often stories that reflect where
we come from. As we expand, as our population base expands, those stories more
and more are becoming ethnic stories.
1070 So, for example, I will give you examples of
documentaries that are being made right now that are being funded by
broadcasters and others that would like -- documentary filmmakers would
like to make that would fit very well into the mandate of this station but can't
find broadcaster support.
1071 Am I too close to the microphone?
1072 So, for example, Linda Ohama is one of our
stronger documentary filmmakers and up to now she has managed to get funding for
her documentaries, though it is always a struggle. Linda, of course, is a second
generation Japanese Canadian. Any of her documentaries would fit very well into
1073 "Obasan's Garden", which is her latest about
her grandmother's garden that was confiscated by the Canadian government during
the Second World War when the family was shipped to Alberta. A very strong
1074 "A Last Harvest", which was her documentary
about the family farm in Alberta that was created after the war. Two years ago
that farm had its last season. The family sold the farm. She made a beautifully
affecting film about that story that would fit very well into the strand. That
kind of documentary has international legs. NHK of Japan phoned her out the blue
and asked to buy that documentary.
1075 So those are the kinds of stories that would
fit into the strand that are being told here and are being supported, but there
are others by perhaps less experienced filmmakers that are not being
1076 Three years ago there was a story called "The
Apartment" that Barry Gray wanted to make, and "The Apartment" was going to be
at the height of the Serbian/Croatian conflict. There were refugee families from
Serbia and from Croatia in an apartment building, in one apartment building
right here in the west end living in a very uneasy mix right at the height of
the conflicts. Fabulous story. It would have fit very well into the mandate of
this station, would certainly have been a very strong documentary, would have
had international legs. He could not find a broadcaster for that
1077 So those are the kinds of stories that are
being told, or that could be told if these filmmakers got a licence
1078 So the kind of strand that we are envisaging
will be wide ranging and within the mandate of a multicultural and
cross-cultural station we will be looking at a wide range of stories and the
stories will be about telling our stories to each other. We are all part of this
multicultural society and we all fit here. Certainly in this strand all our
stories will be relevant.
1079 Some will be local stories, such as the ones
that I have described; some will be cross-cultural stores, people for example,
Nora Patridge(ph) who was an artist in Argentina, came here during the whole
crisis in Argentina. There is a wonderful documentary, "My Art Shall Rise Up" by
Cindy Leeny(ph), that would fit in very well.
1080 There are also international stories told by
Canadians, new Canadians and Canadians who have been here a long time,
international stories from a Canadian point of view. Again, some of those have
1081 Nettie Wild's films have been made, but Nettie
tells me that she has been told her films will never -- the kind of
international stories from the Canadian perspective that would really work for a
multicultural audience she says there isn't the funding any more. She cannot
make those films. I think this initiative would allow those kinds of stories
still to be made.
1082 Another example, there is a young company here
who started off in Bombay. They made films, documentaries in Bombay for the BBC
on various topics. They have been in Canada for six years, working in Vancouver
for two years. They are currently doing a documentary about "The Changing Face
of Democracy in Bombay" which is commissioned by the BBC.
1083 Very, very important topic, as you know. That
would really explain for our audiences why so many people from South Asia are
1084 It has been commissioned by the BBC. No local
broadcaster, no Canadian broadcaster is interested. It is not a Canadian
1085 Well, of course it's a Canadian story. It's
being told from the point of view of somebody who has chosen Canada, has chosen
the freedom that Canada gives them, the perspective that Canada gives them, to
tell this story. Those films would also fit into this strand.
1086 So in terms of the way that we would spend the
money, obviously existing filmmakers here who have the strength, who have honed
their craft, would certainly get some of these licences. These are very healthy
1087 I mean, the other wonderful thing about this
initiative, when you look at the amount of money written in, nothing like that
has been seen here. There is some local support for documentaries. They tend to
be licences in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, which will trigger, I don't know, a
documentary for $70,000-$80,000.
1088 Pat Barker did a film. Her licence was
ten-fifteen from VTV. She managed to make a fabulous film for -- her budget
was $80,000, she only got $60,000, she did not get paid for her work as
animator, narrator, on and on and on, director, producer, won the best cultural
documentary award from Hot Docs(ph).
1089 So documentaries are being made but with very
1090 With this kind of licence, a license of up to
$70,000 per film, you can trigger easily a documentary of a $300,000 to $500,000
budget. That takes into account -- because this is only a first window in
B.C. we are giving, they can cobble together partnerships with TVOntario, who we
have been talking to who would be interested for other first windows in
1091 They could get second windows in Canada from
educational and other broadcasters. On a case-by-case basis we could also share
first window, for example, with Vision who have been wonderful supporters, one
of the few really strong supporters of documentaries across the
1092 These films would also get money from the
various funding agencies, from international distributors and from international
broadcasters because there is this market initiative, $45,000. I mean, the thing
about B.C. filmmakers are making these stories that are strong local stories,
like Linda Ohama's story was a very local story, has international legs, but how
do you make those international contacts?
1093 In her case NHK phoned her, but a lot of our
filmmakers not only is it a $1,000 cup of coffee to Toronto, but it is far more
than that to Latin America or to Europe. So this $45,000 marketing initiative
would allow them to make those international connections to sell those
1094 That is a long answer --
1095 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1096 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: My aim was to ascertain
how much of this money is actually pegged for ethnic producers.
1097 Because if I look at your response in addition
to question 18 you say:
"The B.C. documentaries will be scheduled from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m.
Monday to Friday within the English entertainment block shown."
1098 When you talk about your project in
Schedule C at page 4 you say that:
"It will help the station to develop and broadcast in prime time documentary
material of an ethnocultural nature in English and hopefully other language
versions for international marketing."
1099 Is there any part of this sum, whether it is
the $100,000 a year or the $3.5 million over seven years that is pegged for
ethnic producers or is it simply to produce films, documentaries that have an
ethnocultural -- there is a difference between the two. That's what I want
to know, because it's not evident --
1100 MR. SOLE: No, it's not
1101 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- to me what it is
going to be used for.
1102 All the subjects that you have mentioned, yes,
can be speaking to ethnocultural groups, but I want to know whether any of this
money is pegged to the communities that you want to serve since this is your
core program, the documentary programming.
1103 MR. SOLE: Yes. To respond to this morning's
recollection of the call, this is the one place that we recognized where we
could contribute to priority programming. Drama doesn't fit what we do, and
music and variety, these aren't formats.
1104 What has changed since the application, and I
think I should just sort of lay it on the table, is that we found that Sunday
night would be a better time. Not 10 o'clock for example.
1105 We have chosen documentaries because they are
ethnoculturally friendly. It is a world format.
1106 What Heather described with a great deal of
enthusiasm is the fact that ethnocultural documentary producers will have an
open and wide access to take these funds from here, to put it in blunt
1107 We haven't put it in any categorization. The
commissioning editor will look at the proposals as they come in and the
decisions will be made on the sensitivity that this is funded by a multicultural
1108 I can tell you that documentaries are
the -- I don't want to say easiest, but they are the most comfortably
translated or transcreated form of priority programming that we could put them
into a multiple of languages.
1109 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So it will be an open
1110 I heard Ms Ziniak earlier saying that you
nurture the community. You could nurture the ethnic independent producers as
well by saying there is a certain percentage of this money that is to further
that kind of production so that our service will be better over time and will
develop and nurture these communities.
1111 MR. SOLE: Well, I
1112 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But what I hear you saying
is you don't have -- you have not pegged a certain amount of this program
for ethnic producers.
1113 MR. SOLE; No. But it's very good advice. I
think that guidelines --
1114 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It's not advice, it's a
--- Laughter / Rires
1115 DR. MARTIN: If I can just elaborate a bit, I
know I gave a long answer, but the one part of the application of this
initiative that I didn't talk about was the $100,000 a year in development
1116 Now, some of the producers that I mentioned,
like Linda Ohama or indeed already ethnic producers, but of course not all of
the established producers who tell international and ethnic stories are ethnic
1117 The Selwyn Jacob here at the NFB has
identified a group of about 40 emerging ethnically diverse filmmakers. Not all
of these filmmakers have had much experience. Those who have, of course,
especially they have strong stories because these are the ones -- we would
obviously have criteria for strong stories. Some of them would get the
production money immediately.
1118 Others, there is this very strong initiative,
$100,000 a year that is not necessarily tied to production, so that younger
filmmakers, emerging filmmakers, ethically diverse filmmakers in particular who
have a very good story, who may not have much experience would definitely, we
hope, get the lion's share of this money.
1119 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, but my question was
the same and the answer I think I have is that neither the $3.5 million, nor the
$100,000 a year, nor the $45,000 is particularly pegged to ethnic
1120 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, that's correct.
I just wanted to clarify, though, that each part of our programming really has a
different purpose. Our news and public affairs are in third languages and they
have a specific purpose.
1121 What we had hoped to accomplish with this
documentary initiative was as a result of both our research and our community
consultations was the ability to tell ethnocultural stories, and to have those
ethnocultural stories told to the communities at large and across the country.
So the purpose of this was to tell the story to those who would not otherwise
1122 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the Schedule H at
page 2 which tells us what the B.C. documentary Premier special is, there was
two parts to it.
1123 One is 50 documentaries over seven years and
"...the purchase of documentaries previously produced in British Columbia as
well as the rest of Canada covering topics of interest to ethnic viewers."
1124 So part of the $3.5 million would be used for
1125 MR. SOLE: No, that would be more of an
operating cost. We are saying in the theme, as Heather said, it is our intention
to take 50 documentaries and multiply that by the 70,000 to arrive at the
$3.5 million. Those are new productions.
1126 At the same time, in our investigation of
documentaries in Canada, something that we are worldly famous for, there is an
opportunity to develop an ethnic strand, as Heather described it, meaning a
weekly window in prime time where there is historical material that has never
been put into Cantonese or Punjabi or Italian that would be very
1127 We are always looking for ways to do creative
Canadian content other than news and public affairs and we thought as we were
building this relationship with the documentary community this would be yet
1128 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That is additional.
Previously produced would simply mean that it is already in existence. It is
1129 MR. SOLE: For example, there is a series on
science in Quebec that was done in French. We bought that, we translated it into
five different languages. It would have never left -- it was sold all over
the world in French, but in Canada we are discovering and can be and intend to
be yet another window for Canadian producers.
1130 I could speak to priority programming by
saying we run "Street Legal" in Italian, we run "Destiny Ridge" in Portuguese,
but we really said how are we going to meet PN-99-101 because it really isn't
1131 We are more of a 99-117 station, so we thought
documentaries would be the area we picked. So we have a number of initiatives in
1132 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Over and above this plan
you have what is called "Independent British Columbia Ethnic Initiative". This
is outside of the $4.5 million?
1133 MS ZINIAK: Yes, it is.
1134 COMMISSIONER WYLIE:
"To produce local independent ethnic programs to serve a minimum of seven
additional ethnocultural and linguistic groups."
1135 What would be this programming? Would that be
the magazines that we see in the various languages in the
1136 MR. SOLE: The schedule actually says ICBCE. It
shows this --
1137 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: That would
1138 MR. SOLE: This is -- Madeline can explain
it better than I -- it's --
1139 MS ZINIAK: This is again an initiative that we
have had some experience in and this is, once again, nurturing some of the
independent producers that we know are there in existence.
1140 What we would do with the independent British
Columbia ethnic initiative is to, number one, work with the independent
1141 The independent producer is certainly
responsible for content, editorial direction and our role as a broadcaster is to
supply them with the facilities available to produce their product, such as
cameras to go out in the field to shoot material, studio facilities, as well as
editing facilities, and we may do things like produce the introduction of their
program for them and perhaps share some new services that they can't
1142 For example, if something happens of great
interest in Rumania, a crisis, we would allow them to use some of the footage
that we already have coming in-house.
1143 Also, they would also be able to retain
85 per cent, perhaps, of the revenue, the retail revenue that is available
1144 So these are independent producers. For
example, presently we work with nine independent producers in Ontario and the
relationship certainly is one that has allowed us to be quite diverse as well as
develop these producers who don't have, perhaps, all of the facilities that they
would like to be able to be competitive on an on-air broadcaster. So we assist
them in this way.
1145 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Those would be
representatives of smaller groups that need the Ziniak touch for
1146 MS ZINIAK: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1147 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When we speak of bringing
diversity to the ethnic or the ethnocultural market, which is Vancouver and the
lower mainland and Victoria, it is difficult not to take into consideration the
existence of the multicultural channel on Rogers.
1148 I mentioned earlier that one of the surveys
that you have actually supplied with your application mentions a very
high -- I think it was 91 per cent of South Asians. I don't recall if
it said particularly the Punjabi who watch that channel.
1149 So it raises the question, of course, of
whether that channel will continue to exist if you were given a
1150 MR. SOLE: Tony.
1151 MR. VINER: We are advised by Rogers Cable,
Commissioner Wylie, that they have filed a --
1152 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You do talk to them
1153 MR. VINER: I do.
--- Laughter / Rires
1154 MR. VINER: I do.
1155 That they filed a licence renewal and that the
Rogers multicultural channel continues to be identified in that licence
1156 Our company generally has three year planning
horizons and I know the Rogers multicultural channel continues to be in that
three year planning horizon.
1157 I think -- what I am advised by my
colleagues at cable, is that the Rogers multicultural channel provides them with
what they believe is a competitive edge in a culturally diverse community. So
quite apart from altruistic motives there is a strong business motive of why
they would retain it.
1158 I would only comment on the high levels of
viewing to this channel though, Commissioner Wylie, demonstrates -- the
fact is, there isn't much other programming and there are high levels of viewing
to this channel, in part because there is no other alternative for those
1159 The Rogers multicultural channel does a
wonderful job. I know -- just for the record because I don't need to remind
the Commission -- that it doesn't have -- there is no Cancon
requirements and there is no Canadian content requirements on the multicultural
channel and there are no production facilities. These are independent producers
who bring programming primarily -- primarily directed to the homeland, and
they do a fine job of it, but I just wanted to make those
1160 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There is a suggestion in a
few places in your application that this would give them an opportunity to
become involved, the better ones who have been nurtured longer, to produce
programming for LM-TV.
1161 So from your tentative answer I gather you
haven't factored into your plans co-operation or use of these particular
producers or --
1162 MR. SOLE: We have consulted with these
producers all along for the last five or six years.
1163 Maybe Madeline can give you a little more
information than that.
1164 MS ZINIAK: We have had some very good
opportunities in the last six years and seven years to meet many of these
producers who are presently working with the multicultural channel. I think this
speaks very much to the different phases and evolution and development of
multilingual media in Canada.
1165 I think certainly the multicultural channel
has a definite role in the media landscape as does an over-the-air commercial
broadcaster such as CFMT-TV.
1166 We have seen in our different relationships
with different independent producers that this could be, if they wish, another
step for them because, number one, it enables them to work with crews, to have
facilities, the station would have different capabilities and they are able to
develop their craft.
1167 Many, for example, have been broadcasters in
their homeland, but don't have quite the capability, both from a production
facility point of view to really get into their craft. Many of whom we have met
with have expressed the desire to perhaps develop in this way.
1168 So this is not dissimilar from some of the
relationships that we have previously formed and we look forward to certainly
going through a program proposal procedure with them, but we have spoken to them
and look forward to future development, if they wish.
1169 MR. VINER: I apologize, Commissioner Wylie,
for my tentativeness.
1170 We have met with all of the producers several
times. It is exactly at this group that the IBCEI, the Independent British
Columbia Ethnic Initiative, is directed.
1171 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When there is a
suggestion, at least in the surveys, that if we introduce another 20 hours a
week of Chinese programming it is going to have a negative impact on the
existing services, the attempt is always to say, "Well, no, no, people will
watch more. They won't stop watching what they watched before."
1172 So we can expect that will be true for your
multicultural channel too?
1173 MR. VINER: Yes.
1174 MR. SOLE: Yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1175 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Presumably, as some of
this programming gets on to the over-the-air station perhaps other smaller
groups that don't have the same opportunity will have a greater one and get
Ms Ziniak's nurturing and we will all have more in
1176 MS ZINIAK: Yes.
1177 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Do you want to sit town
there? You are doing a great job.
--- Laughter / Rires
1178 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The English language
programming now, which is, of course, presumably the basis, the financial basis
of -- in large part -- I think it's as much as 80 per cent of the
revenues, correct, at least at the outset.
1179 Is that exaggerated?
1180 MR. SOLE: No, it's not.
1181 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It will be all
non-Canadian, will it?
1182 MR. SOLE: That's correct, yes.
1183 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Although you suggest it is
not going to be in prime time, it is actually going to be certainly some close
to 8:00 and from 8:00 -- from 10:00 to 12:00?
1184 MR. SOLE: It is going to be in very
competitive times. We are not -- as referenced by most broadcasters in this
country, we are not any different. Ethnocultural broadcasters required
revenue-generating American programming to support their Canadian initiatives
and their service to the production community and to the
1185 What is different about us is that we --
and the distinction that we will make repeatedly -- is between eight
o'clock ten o'clock at night where the lion's share of the money is made, we are
ethnic. That in itself defines the lighter impact and the lower impact that
happens when we are entering into a market.
1186 But we do, when we are in the English part of
the schedule, we try to be the most watched station in the
1187 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: There is also an argument
that you will -- you say you will be competitive, but you won't -- you
will counter program.
1188 MR. SOLE: Yes. We think
1189 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In what way will that
programming between, let's say, 10:00 and 11:00 and 7:00 and 8:00, be different
from what we are seeing on the American stations and the Canadian
1190 MR. SOLE: Well, I'm not sure it will be very
different at all. I think it will be better.
1191 I mean, this is a pool of programming where
you want to get the highest, most popular programs that you can charge the
highest advertising rates for so you can support your initiatives of Canadian
1192 So to say it would be different, generally I
describe our English programming as syndicated, reruns, very popular comedies,
things of that nature.
1193 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, the counter
programming I think which Leslie describes and you mentioned, though, really
relates to the U.S. stations and that the U.S. stations currently when the
Canadian stations are programming news the U.S. stations are programming the
sort of popular U.S. syndicated programming.
1194 What we have done in Ontario is we will also
run popular U.S. programming. We don't run -- we don't compete against
Canadian news. We compete for the smaller, frankly, audience that is available
that is a non-news audience. So we counter program the
1195 We are different from most Canadian stations
because they are running news between 6:00 and 8:00 or 6:00 and 7:00 or 5:00 and
7:00, where we run our news between 8:00 and 10:00. I guess that's -- I
hope I have clarified that.
1196 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We will discuss a little
later the whole revenue generation and the possible impact on the market which,
of course, everybody is going to get KVOS. How easy is it going to be to get
programming that will be -- is it going to be more difficult than in
Toronto because of the presence of the popular American
1197 MR. SOLE: We honestly believe it is not going
to be any more difficult, in some ways it might be better.
1198 We believe we are the station -- and you
have heard this before but I really want you to believe this this
afternoon -- that can affect KVOS the most.
1199 At six o'clock at night Canadian stations are
running news and public affairs, as Tony said. KVOS comes into the market and
fills their programming with pizza commercials and movie commercials and the
kind of advertisers that -- Canadian advertisers that don't want to buy or
can't afford news.
1200 Our experience in Toronto is, if we compete
with -- in the case of Toronto WU-TV, we change the nature of the market.
We give the Canadian advertiser an alternative at six o'clock, especially retail
advertisers, and the opportunity for us to affect KVOS is because we are the
same kind of station as KVOS.
1201 Between 6:00 and 8:00 we do popular
syndication and rerun. We think with Toronto and British Columbia we have a
stronger bidding position than they do with just British Columbia so we think we
will be able to get the best programming, and then again at 11 o'clock at night
the circumstances are very similar.
1202 So these are U.S. stations that don't have
news departments, they don't have local production and they live off Canadian
markets. They do that by counter programming Canadian news.
1203 Well, we are a Canadian station that has a
Canadian mandate that serves ethnocultural groups that can repatriate that
market because we can go into those times and we can get the Canadian
advertisers back into Canadian stations.
1204 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Before we leave
programming -- and if the Chairperson allows we will take a break because
you are really hitting your stride there, Mr. Sole.
1205 MR. SOLE: Just my luck.
--- Laughter / Rires
1206 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- "Multicultural
Quorum" and "New Monday" and "Whatever".
1207 "Multicultural Quorum" and "New Monday" will
be in languages other than English, will be in third languages.
1208 MR. SOLE: No, they
1209 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Will be in English, excuse
1210 MR. SOLE: Yes, they will be.
1211 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: "Whatever" will be partly
in English and partly in a variety of third languages,
1212 MR. SOLE: "Whatever" could be all in Punjabi
one week, it could be all in English one week. It is going to be in English
probably most of the time, to answer practically, but it --
1213 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Including
1214 MR. SOLE: Yes. I thought particularly
1215 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Oh, I thought that
--- Laughter / Rires
1216 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I thought
"Whatever" -- that's the program for young people that sometimes it could
be in languages other than English?
1217 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1218 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. But not the other
1219 MR. SOLE: No. The other two will
commonly -- well, yes, they will be in English.
1220 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: They will be in English
1221 With regard to third language, it's not clear
when we do the calculation whether we have 50 per cent third language, but
you know the ethnic policy --
1222 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1223 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- requires, unless
there is an exception.
1224 Is that what you would be prepared to commit
to is 50 per cent third language?
1225 MR. SOLE: We are prepared to comply entirely
and completely with Public Notice 117.
1226 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: The difficulty is
sometimes programs are mixed, have English in them, but so you would be prepared
to commit to 15 language groups, 18 --
1227 MR. SOLE: Eighteen cultures.
1228 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- cultural groups
and 50 per cent overall programming in third language?
1229 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1230 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When we come back we can
talk about the synergies between LM-TV and CFMT and then the market projections,
which include, of course, repatriation.
1231 Mr. Sole has given us a good
1232 Thank you.
1233 MR. SOLE: Thank you for the
1234 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will break
for 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1530 / Suspension à 1530
--- Upon resuming at 1550 / Reprise à 1550
1235 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will be
hearing the three applications we had planned on hearing today so we will
proceed with the LM-TV group now and then we will take another break and proceed
with the Trinity application.
1236 We would like to apologize ahead of time, some
coffee will be brought to us so that we can do a proper questioning all through
--- Laughter / Rires
1237 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
1238 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you.
1239 I would like to look now at the synergies that
you propose between CFMT and LM-TV should it be licensed, so I picked some
various areas in your application where there is that synergy.
1240 The Chinese national news, for example,
3.5 hours will be supplied by CFMT.
1241 Five hours of Italian and Portuguese
1242 MR. SOLE: In combination.
1243 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- will be supplied
by CFMT, and some magazine programming as well.
1244 "Multicultural Quorum" will be shown on both
1245 If I look at page 5 of Schedule B
and do a calculation, would I be right to say there will be about 24 hours
a week of ethnic programming provided by CFMT?
1246 MR. SOLE: Viddear Khan.
1247 MS KHAN: Thank you.
1248 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Is that approximately
1249 MS KHAN: The programming that will be shared
between both stations will be -- there will be five hours of Cantonese and
Mandarin, as well as 2.5 hours of South Asian national news, and I believe,
yes, "Multicultural Quorum", "New Monday" could be shared with CFMT, as well as
all of the other magazine type of programming aired on LM-TV and produced by
1250 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But I still don't have an
answer as to whether 24 hours is about 19 per cent of the weekly
1251 MS KHAN: I would say it's about
1252 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Sixteen?
1253 MS KHAN: Yes.
1254 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If you look at your
supplementary brief at page 23, you also say that:
"The multicultural documentary programming will have a first broadcast window
in British Columbia and a second window at CFMT-TV."
1255 So there could be, in fact, quite a few hours
of programming other than the previous -- the scheduled
1256 MR. SOLE: Yes, there could be synergies in a
general sense. One and one is three in many occasions.
1257 In the case of the documentaries, they would
run in both Ontario and British Columbia.
1258 The programs that you have talked about will
run in Ontario and British Columbia. A new national South Asian newscast will
run in Ontario and British Columbia but will be produced here.
1259 We are very optimistic that some of the other
South Asian programming that is produced here, and in fact any one of these
programs over a period of time could end up running in Ontario and vice
1260 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And in your programming
vision in Schedule C that is a very important aspect of it, that there will
be synergies between the two services.
1261 You also talk about co-operative production to
licensed Canadian producers that will produce documentaries that are of interest
1262 In your financial projections you
"CFMT is provided to the new service at no cost, programming produced by
CFMT, and that all the programming expenditures included in the application are
new and CFMT's base costs and commitments to Canadian production have not been
reduced in any way through charges to the new service. No transfers of any
existing costs between the two."
1263 But would it be fair, nevertheless, to say
that if you were to be granted this licence with this vision of synergies
between the two that both services -- well, CFMT will become cheaper to
produce, won't it, that you program? It's not showing on your financial
statements because you say you don't --
1264 MR. SOLE: The way we have written this
application the answer would be no, it would not be cheaper because we have
chosen not to take any of the CFMT expenditures and put it into this
1265 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but when you say you
will spend $4.5 million on documentaries and that is one of the reasons why we
should give you a licence, which your application may well be mutually
exclusive, that $4.5 million will go to enrich CFMT as well and therefore make
CFMT cheaper than last year to program.
1266 MR. SOLE: In that exact case, CFMT will pay
additional licence fees for those documentaries.
1267 This is for British Columbia only. The
$4.5 million documentary fund is indigenous to
1268 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, but those programs
will be shown on CFMT.
1269 MR. SOLE: And it will cost CFMT money to run
1270 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Although you are not
showing any costs.
1271 MR. SOLE: It would show in CFMT's
1272 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: It's not showing as
revenue in LM-TV then?
"Programming produced by CFMT is provided to the new service at no cost."
1273 MR. SOLE: Right.
1274 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What about the programming
that is produced by LM-TV and is shown on CFMT, it will be purchased at cost or
purchased -- what will happen? It will be purchased?
1275 Suppose it's not a co-production between the
two, it is out of your $4.5 million and it goes to a documentary producer
in Vancouver --
1276 MR. SOLE: Right.
1277 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and then it is
shown on LM-TV and on CFMT as well?
1278 MR. SOLE: If we were to pay a $70,000 licence
fee for a documentary made in British Columbia we would pay for it through
LM-TV. Subsequently, when it ran on CFMT a new licence fee would be negotiated
1279 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And what about the
multicultural program and "New Monday" and possibly the "Whatever"
1280 MR. SOLE: Right now they are reflected as a
goodwill exchange between two stations with common ownership. There is no
economic representation in either station.
1281 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Will LM-TV pay for the
news that is produced in Toronto and shared with LM-TV?
1282 MR. SOLE: If the two initiatives in Chinese,
as an example, the morning show and the prime time national newscasts, those
will be paid for proportionately by both stations.
1283 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So there will be
1284 MR. SOLE: Oh, absolutely.
1285 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and
cost-effective exchanges, which is, of course, excellent, but it brings me, of
course, to asking you: Have you tried to -- is there a way of calculating
what this advantage would be?
1286 MR. SOLE: Sure.
1287 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Have you
1288 MR. SOLE: Yes. If we took a modest licence fee
for the Ontario content on the sample schedule and we ran it over the seven
years we would be saving LM-TV over -- somewhere in the neighbourhood of
1289 Tom can give you the arithmetic on how we got
to that conclusion.
1290 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Intuitively you know that
it is beneficial, of course, because of this exchange and the effort, the vision
to exchange it between the two, which is laudable, but you probably won't be
surprised as to where I'm going.
1291 Why are the Canadian content and ethnic
programming exactly the same as they are for CFMT if you are now going to have
the benefit of two stations and of the expertise you gained? Because we are
always trying to look for the best deal for the viewer.
1292 There is an advantage.
1293 MR. SOLE: Sure.
1294 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If we were to give you
that licence, your plans are obviously to use the funds that you are putting
forward as one of the reasons why you should be licensed will go to enrich CFMT,
and yet the commitments are identical.
1295 MR. SOLE: I would -- the commitments are
identical in --
1296 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I said Canadian content
and the amount of ethnic -- Canadian content in general. It's patterned on
1297 MR. SOLE: Yes, they are both patterned the
same. The benefits are that neither one of these stations currently have a
Chinese morning show. That would be a result of synergies.
1298 Neither one of the stations have a national
South Asian newscast. That would be a result of these synergies.
1299 Neither one of these have a Chinese national
newscast. That would be a result of these synergies.
1300 And, on top of all of that, we think that the
quality will go up because the number of hours that each licence is obligated to
produce, the money would be more spent on fewer hours and more money on each
hour, and we think we are going to be able to reduce the number of repeats in
1301 So it is hard to explain in dollars and cents.
It really is synergies that are going to result in a higher quality product in
two ethnocultural markets.
1302 MS ZINIAK: If I can add, we have had some very
real examples where we naturally would produce a one station story. Perhaps it
is a key story on citizenship values or immigration that we would --
actually one producer would produce and then what we would do is we would share
it with all of the producers of the different languages. The local talent would
introduce the story, but it was produced in one place.
1303 Similarly, we recently partnered with the
Heritage Department on the family violence initiative where we produced, in
16 languages, a public service announcement based on the theme that
violence hurts us all. We produced this really for the whole country and it was
a challenge to get it on anywhere.
1304 Certainly the federal government did identify
that there needed to be a lot of work in this area.
1305 So this is one perfect example where it is
integral to the station where we have done it and we are simply looking for a
place to be able to share that kind of a message where it would be most
1306 So we did have some frustration in being able
to spread that kind of a PSA throughout Canada. We produced it, and that is an
example of a synergy that we would have welcomed.
1307 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What you are speaking of
now, is that the $350,000 for community relative programming or a PSA per
1308 I meant to ask you whether that $350,000, by
the way, was additional to the $4.5 million?
1309 MR. SOLE: Yes, it is
1310 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And it is not the B.C.
ethnic initiative either?
1311 MR. SOLE: No.
1312 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: This is similar to the
1313 MR. SOLE: This came out of the -- when we
were meeting with the different ethnocultural groups it became very clear that
no one was immediate with their concerns and that there were -- and Oliver
was a great example and before we committed to this we thought we would try to
1314 It's in-depth news or "newsumentary" -- I
don't like those merged words, but that might describe a news story that needs
in-depth treatment that is not in that news budget where you have to have more
than one camera, where you have to hire people that are not in your
1315 We tested that out and when we talked to the
British Columbia government we made the contacts and when we looked at that
particular circumstance we said "We are going to need a budget to do this. This
is going to be important to provide a platform for debate or instant reflection
on ethnocultural issues in the lower mainland and Victoria."
1316 So we said "Well, we should identify that
initiative as something above and beyond and commit and explain that there are
opportunities to do news specials or community specials. That is the one example
that we would give, "The Courage To Stand". It's not part of the documentary
fund, it's not part of the Independent British Columbia Ethnic Producers Fund,
it is a separate standalone initiative that would give ethnocultural news
departments sort of the big budget to do something that maybe a network might
1317 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Are you committing to
doing one a year? That is, I think, what is suggested.
1318 MR. SOLE: Yes. Our sense of it is it is an
immediate thing, it's timely, it's topical. I am going to probably be scolded
later, but my guess is in this licence period we will probably spend more than
$350,000. It's not how many you do, it's --
1319 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You may not have one one
year, you --
1320 MR. SOLE: We might have six the next,
1321 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. But the money is a
commitment, the $350,000 as a minimum?
1322 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1323 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now to go back to my theme
of why not more if you have two licences, considering the
1324 As you know, the Commission has been looking
at groups of licences by the same licensee and plans to look at them together.
Would you be surprised if you were licensed that that may be the approach taken
by the Commission, that these two services will not be discrete?
1325 MR. SOLE: That they would be in the future
reviewed at the same time?
1326 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or even now I'm suggesting
that maybe we have to be convinced that there shouldn't be more if you have the
possibility of these synergies, that more should be expected.
1327 MR. SOLE: I don't think that we have any
opposition to saying that CFMT and LM-TV really are one body of work and that
the Commission would like to discuss that body of work on a singular basis in
totality for the system. I think we would be comfortable with
1328 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: When is CFMT up for
1329 MR. VINER: Right now.
1330 MR. SOLE: Yes, immediate.
1331 Conveniently the Commission asked us to file
our renewal documents on February 15th.
1332 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But you see where I'm
coming from is, yes, you may buy something at cost but you will be the licensee
of two multilingual services where the large group served. The Chinese group is
quite prominent in both, and South Asian as well in a sense, and you have
throughout put forward as an advantage these synergies but nowhere does it say
"As a result this is what we are going to do."
1333 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, if I can just
summarize -- it has been a good discussion.
1334 First, I think Leslie made clear that the
$3.5 million is spent only in British Columbia and there is no
savings -- we would run it on CFMT but we would pay a
1335 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: If you have terrific
programming that is generated as a result, it is advantageous. It is a
specialized area of programming --
1336 MR. VINER: That's correct,
1337 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and it is not
going to be purchased by Global.
1338 MR. VINER: Well, remember we get the second
window in Ontario. I would just point that out. It's the second window in
Ontario so that the documentary producer has the opportunity to sell it to
someone else. So there is not a saving per se in that.
1339 Leslie has pointed out there is another sort
of $3 million that we could have put into the application and had LM-TV
acquire programming from CFMT and we are not doing that. This is
1340 I think the response to the question about
what more is there we tried to answer by saying a brand new Chinese morning
show, a brand new Chinese national newscast, a brand new South Asian national
newscast, but the money that we have -- the synergies result in a higher
quality -- more and higher quality programming.
1341 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Which should accrue in
part -- advantages accrue to the viewers --
1342 MR. VINER: Yes.
1343 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- and to the
1344 MR. VINER: I would agree with
1345 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So your commitments in
Canadian content, then, are the same as with CFMT. So it is 50 per cent
throughout the broadcast day and 6:00 to midnight 40 per cent.
1346 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1347 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And 50 per cent
between 7:00 and 10:00.
1348 MR. SOLE: No. The condition of licence for
CFMT is between 7:00 and --
1349 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, I mean
1350 MR. SOLE: They are identical. From 7:00 to
10:00 p.m. we are making an obligation that we will not broadcast any less than
75 per cent ethnic content Monday to Sunday, every night of the
1351 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But some of it could be
1352 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1353 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So I thought if I look at
your application at 5.4, 7:00 to 10:00, 50 per cent Canadian content.
1354 MR. SOLE: It's 8:00 to 10:00. I'm sorry.
--- Pause / Pause
1355 MR. SOLE: Go ahead, Tony.
1356 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Eight to
1357 MR. VINER: It's 75 per cent.
1358 MR. SOLE: No, it's another question,
1359 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Okay, 5.4, it's in the
application unless it is --
1360 MR. SOLE: Go ahead, Tony.
1361 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Section 5 in Part 1 where
Canadian content commitments are laid out, 50 all day; 6:00 to midnight, 40;
7:00 to 10:00, 50 is what I have. This is Canadian content.
1362 Presumably this will be ethnic programming
because you won't have Canadian foreign.
1363 What mistake am I making when I
1364 MR. SOLE: No, I'm not sure that there are any
mistakes being made and if there are they will be mine. I didn't have the
1365 So we are looking at 5.4:
"With reference to the scheduling of Canadian programs during the evening
identify a block of three consecutive hours."
1366 We have chosen 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
and we are saying that we will achieve 50 per cent.
1367 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Why do I have 10? Do
I not have the last -- has that been revised?
1368 MR. SOLE: No, it says 7:00 to
1369 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: To 10:00.
1370 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1371 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Oh, I thought I heard you
1372 MR. SOLE: And our commitment is 50 per
1373 I'm just so used to the regular conditions of
licence that that one caught me off guard. I apologize.
1374 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In your supplementary
brief at page 26, and today, you have said that you would have 75 per
cent ethnic programming between 8:00 and 10:00.
1375 MR. SOLE: That's correct.
1376 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Okay. Now, can we go down
this card and ask you if you can identify how much of this programming during
ethnic hours will be third language? Has somebody calculated
1377 MR. SOLE: So how many of these hours will be
1378 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, will -- well,
yes. Third language.
1379 Why not put it into third language, neither
French nor English in that chart.
1380 MR. SOLE: Because we make a very passionate
case for English-language ethnic programming, so we are looking for
1381 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But now I understand the
1382 My question is: Can you separate in that chart
how much of these hours will be third language as opposed to English? Or if you
haven't done it you can give it to us some other time.
1383 MR. SOLE: I would be happy to do that tomorrow
morning. I could approximate it, I think, though.
1384 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And whether these are
commitments as well --
1385 MR. SOLE: Yes. That chart?
1386 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- that you wouldn't
mind conditions of licence committing you to that.
1387 MR. SOLE: To 75 hours ethnic, to 63 hours
ethnic Canadian, 21 hours in prime time, 10.5 in core, 20 -- yes,
we would commit to these as COLs, conditions of licence.
1388 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I assume that adds up to
the -- this is expressed in hours. It adds up to the
1389 MR. SOLE: Yes, it does.
1390 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: We would like to know
whether or not you would be prepared to make a commitment to third language
within these percentages as opposed to cultural programming in English, to
ethnic programming in English.
1391 Because you could have a lot of
English-language programming, Type E in those hours. We would be interested
in knowing in these block hours how much is third language.
1392 MR. SOLE: I understand. You mean tomorrow we
will give you that information of the 75 --
1393 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: You don't have
1394 For example, from 8:00 to 10:00 how much of
that will be in third language as opposed to English?
1395 MR. SOLE: In this schedule?
1396 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Well, this schedule I
suppose is a block schedule, but what are your plans in that
1397 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1398 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In where and in what
proportion the third language programming will be positioned.
1399 Now, if we go to the market, and we had this
discussion this morning with CHUM as well and we wanted you to have the
opportunity to answer to it as well.
1400 You have a survey which you have put forward
to calculate how much money and how much growth there is in the market. So the
Media Edge survey at page 32 -- I don't know if you have that --
it's the whole question of the growth that has been calculated and presumably
used as your projections and your prediction of growth, which doesn't
seem -- has not taken into consideration what someone will say a decline,
others will say a mere blip in TV advertising revenues in the year that ended
before you filed this.
1401 You say that a conservative estimate of
3 per cent annual growth -- or Media Edge says -- has been used
increasing to 5 per cent in 2000, when in fact there was quite a reduction
not a growth.
1402 I want to know whether this growth has been
used to then forecast your revenues and what is your answer as to whether it is
a blip or whether forecasting on the basis of that growth that was in fact a
decline makes any difference in your revenue projections.
1403 MR. SOLE: I think Jim Nelles would be well
suited for this particular line of questioning.
1404 MR. NELLES: Commissioner Wylie, we have
arrived at our revenue projections through a number of different sources. One of
those was to engage the Media Edge as an independent body to kind of take a look
at the market. They are the fourth largest buying agency in Canada and, as a
result, they buy a lot of time in British Columbia and in
1405 To the specific question about the Media
Edge's study, I might ask that Bruce Neve, who is here with us today, answer
1406 MR. NEVE: Okay.
1407 I am Bruce Neve, Vice-President of Media of
the Media Edge, which is a media buying operation. As Jim said before, it is the
largest purchaser of TV air time in Canada.
1408 I guess I would like to start by saying that
our in-market experience and the experience of the industry is that Vancouver
continues to be a seller's market where demand outstrips supply of inventory in
1409 Based on the most TV upfront in the market,
those clients that were ready -- and agencies to move early to purchase
inventory for this current season saw rate increases of renewing inventory of
plus 8 to 10 per cent in the market.
1410 Those clients that did not get approval, and
agencies to approve and purchase inventory until late in the season, found the
Canadian conventional stations to either have a shortage of inventory or even be
sold out for the fall season.
1411 We believe Vancouver continues to be a dynamic
and a vital market and our projects really look at the longer term success in
the Vancouver market where conventional broadcasters have seen, quite
frequently, double digit revenue increases on a year-over-year
1412 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So you agree with the blip
1413 MR. NEVE: Yes, I do.
1414 MR. NELLES: Commissioner Wylie, if I may just
1415 In accordance with what Bruce has said, we
have also reviewed numbers from the television bureau, and I believe you are
familiar with some of those, to gauge a sense of the overall market
1416 This is a very, very strong market by
television standards in this country and it has been for a number of years. And
yes, that blip is there.
1417 Maybe there is some nurturing going on, I'm
not sure, for future years, but certainly at the present time, despite that,
inventory is very, very scarce.
1418 We noted this past summer many of the
agencies, including OMD here in Vancouver, the largest agency in the country,
indicated that TV was basically locked up until mid-December as a result of
buying going on in late June and early July and through the balance of the
1419 If I may, without getting too obscure, the
buying process is such that the top rated programs on CTV and on Global and some
other stations are the first ones purchased, those core prime programs. They are
the ones that everybody is running after at that time of year and they are
locked up here very, very quickly.
1420 Where we believe we can compete, and that is
the reason that we argue that we have the least impact on the market, is that we
are after the fringe areas, albeit near prime -- we mentioned the 7:00 to
8:00 earlier -- but we believe that the purchasing of that time -- and
in fact we know -- goes on after those core prime, those great new series
or the returning strong series. That buying takes place a little
1421 In Ontario, in southern Ontario, you have the
opportunity to -- after you bought Global and after you bought CTV, come
back to CFMT or to CKVR or the CP-24 or City and purchase time.
1422 That option does not exist to anywhere near
the same degree in this market. That is why it is our belief that our station
perhaps has the least impact on prime time for the larger stations, but has a
very strong impact on KVOS. I know the Commission has heard that before, but we
1423 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Poor KVOS.
1424 MR. NELLES: -- but we truly -- we
kind of play -- in the limited time that we have in English that is kind of
where we play.
1425 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, if we look at it from
the optimist end of the telescope, then, if I took page 33 of Media Edge and I
calculated the growth of the advertising television revenue and got a percentage
of what LM-TV would propose to take out of the market, would it be fair to say
it would be around 4.7 per cent, 5 per cent, and that historically CFMT has been
about to achieve about 15 per cent of Toronto's total ad
1426 So my question is: Have you possibly
underestimated the amount of revenues you will be able to generate, which my
point is it's about 5 per cent of what you predict will be the total pie and in
Toronto you are able to get 15 per cent historically. Is that
1427 MR. NELLES: That's correct. It could be a
little bit less sometimes.
1428 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: And why the
1429 MR. NELLES: I think the discrepancy or the
difference, perhaps, is a result of the difference in the dynamics of those two
markets. Here in Vancouver we are dealing with a market that is roughly
$295 million all-in, all-in. That is network and national spot and
1430 In Toronto, that market is a shade under
$500 million. As a result of that $500 million that is available, there are
more stations programming in prime time and people like Bruce Neve need to buy
1431 So it's possible that if we overachieve there
it is because the advertisers and their clients -- advertising agencies and
their clients are looking for more fringe.
1432 In this market that would not be quite the
same, and that is why we looked at our year one revenue, if I may, as coming
from a number of key areas.
1433 We said that in year one we would be looking
for about f$3.6 million -- that is the 24 per cent from off-air.
Speciality -- and I will come back to that in a moment -- is worth
about $2.4 million. That is about 16 per cent, two per cent from radio,
about $300,000. New accounts not currently on the air, that is about 22 per
cent for $3.3 million.
1434 The last data I will give you is about 36 per
cent or $5.4 million of our anticipated ad revenue in year one is from increased
spending by existing advertisers.
1435 LM-TV is really a composite of all of these
sources from an ad sales standpoint.
1436 I will use that word "nurture" one more time.
When it comes to language advertising we really have to do that. We have been
doing it in southern Ontario for many years.
1437 I can mentioned that with the language, the
Chinese market in Toronto for instance, in 1993, before Fairchild, was about $2
million. That was our $2 million. Fairchild went on the air in 1993. Since
that time we have grown by another million and Fairchild's total revenues I
believe are about $6 million. So we actually grew the pie. That is a phrase
that is often used, but it's very, very key.
1438 That comes about as a result of working with
individual advertisers on perhaps a retail basis or sometimes on a national
basis and -- or in some other cases having an English advertiser that
transcreates the size that they would like to run their creative in the language
of comfort for a constituency that they are after.
1439 I will be brief, but one story that I love
to -- that I really like is our experience with the Wal-Mart people who are
very bright marketers and certainly across Canada.
1440 In southern Ontario when they first came we,
doing what we do, tried to appeal to their best instincts and get them to put
some time and money -- or some money in our station. That did not happen,
and the reason it did not happen -- and this was for third language --
was because they said that they weren't ready.
1441 So we worked with them. They said that they
weren't ready, not in terms of not having ad spend available for us, they were
not ready because what might happen is that people from the Portuguese community
or the Chinese community or the South Asian community might arrive in their
stores and ask questions about what they saw the night before on an evening
newscast on CFMT.
1442 They are bright marketers. They went away for
a couple of years and they came back and they said -- it was the first time
it ever happened to me -- they said "Now we are ready to advertise." And
they did and have placed campaigns in Portuguese and in Chinese and in South
Asian and Italian, and that has been renewed for a number of
1443 I shouldn't go on, but that is an example of
how we do nurture advertisers and we have been doing that for a long time. In
fact, I think the language market when CFMT began was probably about -- or
at least when we took over it, was roughly $7 or $8 million. Today in the
greater Toronto area it would be worth about $22 million.
1444 So we do grow the market and we hope to grow
it in third language and we hope to grow it in terms of English as
1445 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I was looking at the same
page as you where you have a table to show the sources of projected revenue, but
existing off-air television station has an asterisk which tells us that it will
be mostly from U.S. stations.
1446 I think what you are predicting is $5 million
will be repatriated from U.S. stations of the 80 per cent of your revenues which
will come from your English-language programming?
1447 MR. NELLES: That's correct, Commissioner
Wylie. I think roughly $5 million.
1448 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What proportion of that
would come from KVOS?
1449 MR. NELLES: Most of it. Certainly most of the
$5 million would come from KVOS. They are located in the Seattle/Tacoma market
which is the 12th largest market in the United States and it is a very, very hot
1450 So they exist solely as a catch basin for ad
spending in Vancouver and we are going after them.
1451 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the survey that --
or in the analysis, rather, that was prepared, was the presence of CIVT and its
repatriation taken into consideration? Do you know?
1452 MR. NELLES: We looked at CIVT as -- we
looked at the entire market. Referencing the television bureau figures, they
capture local and national and network. We, therefore, would absorb the CIVT
numbers into those overall numbers.
1453 No doubt CIVT has had some success in
repatriating some dollars from KVOS, I'm not sure how much. Their core, of
course is their prime time programming. In that sense they would be, perhaps,
trading some share with existing broadcasters.
1454 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Since you are quite
precise about how much money you expect to repatriate, do you have any --
you don't know how large the pie and how much has flown to CIVT or at least is
less than it was the year before CIVT was on the air?
1455 MR. NELLES: Commissioner
1456 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Because eventually
CK -- KVOS -- I do want it to be Canadian -- they don't have an
unlimited amount of revenue that can be repatriated.
1457 MR. NELLES: No, that is absolutely
1458 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: What do you think is the
size right now of the Canadian money that flows there and what has been the
difference that CIVT has made, because you would have to factor that in to know
that you can take $5 million.
1459 MR. NELLES: Our belief is that KVOS still
remains at roughly that $25 million figure. I know it was presented in 1998 as
part of -- by the CAB. It is a figure that we are quite comfortable with.
It is a figure that we have cross-referenced with Telecaster.
1460 To your earlier point, I believe that it is
not an unlimited amount of dollars that will continue to go to KVOS, but as long
as we keep hearing people talking about this market with rates going up
8 to 10 per cent every year, and as long as we find that people simply
are unable to place -- the agencies are unable to place the commitments
that they have made on behalf of their advertisers, then KVOS will still wind
up, as I say, as a bit of a catch basin for people trying to secure fringe
rating points in this market.
1461 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: In the second source of
revenue, 16 per cent from existing specialty television services, that has two
asterisks and it tells me that revenues sourced from national English language
1462 Won't you take any from the specialty services
that are ethnic?
1463 MR. NELLES: I think I put those two asterisks
there, Commissioner Wylie. I believe that it will be English.
1464 If I go back, just because there are two
issues there, one is the impact on other existing language services, third
language services in this market, I think the impact is entirely
1465 I think that, as I mentioned before, the way
we have grown Chinese ad spend in the greater Toronto area is indicative of what
we hope to do here. We are fiercely competitive with one another, but in the
process we wind up getting more people looking at third language advertising
expenditures as yet another vehicle in a very crowded universe of
1466 At this point I might ask, with your
permission, for Ken Koo, of Koo Creative, to comment. He has some -- just
on the language issue and increases in language ad spend, he has some extra
1467 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. And perhaps comment
on, in your supplementary brief at page 17 you say that -- and it is
related to this belief that the 16 per cent will be taken from English language
specialty services -- you say there that you will:
"...endeavour to counter program newscasts against the entertainment
programming provided by Fairchild and on Talent Vision to offer local viewers a
broader range of unique programming choices in that time period."
1468 Isn't counter programming attempting to have
something more interesting during those periods to take the viewer
1469 MR. SOLE: As a programmer, counter programming
is creating a reason for people who aren't watching television to watch
1470 When there is nothing but news on and you
counter program you usually take something to attract non-news viewers to the
TV. So when there is an exclusive genre on, if there is all sports on American
networks on the weekends, you will see that one station will run movies. I think
that is what we mean by counter programming.
1471 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I am assuming here that it
would be locally produced programming of special interest, let's say to the
Chinese community, at a time when Fairchild is showing entertainment programming
in the hope that instead of the entertainment they will watch the
1472 So I'm curious. Again, this is a rehearsal for
the intervention as to why this 16 per cent doesn't come at all from the
services that to some extent you will compete against.
1473 MR. NELLES: Just before I offer Ken Koo's
comments, it is about choice and this is, in that particular area, a very
significant community. The fact that people have more options to watch will
allow them to watch more television. We have seen that in southern Ontario and I
think we complement each other very well.
1474 But I might ask Ken Koo or Mason to comment
1475 MR. KOO: This is Ken Koo from the Koo Creative
Group. I'm the President of Koo.
1476 I think the key point here is there is a
demand for free over-the-air language advertising alternative and that is
reaching alternative audience that are not in the subscribing channel these
1477 If I may, we are one of the largest Asian
advertising agencies nationally and we are the largest in B.C. So we are very
much in touch with the national and regional advertising that are in the ethnic
1478 Our view, which resulted in our research, is
that there is definite demand for free over-the-air language advertising
alternatives to the advertisers and actually the viewer as well because of the
1479 Free over-the-air language channel will reach
more viewers and I think also at the same time may encourage longer viewing
hours, therefore giving us, ad agencies, to ask for an increased advertising
budget in the ethnic area, therefore not necessarily in the expense of the
1480 Basically I think better and more competitive
choices are always better for the industry as a whole. It always encourages
programming diversity, it always encourages a fair price structure. In short, I
think more choices are good for my client, the advertisers, as well as the
1481 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Now, Mr. Viner, let's
talk about the future. How would being licensed for LM-TV fit into your broader
corporate strategy with regard to ethnic broadcasting?
1482 MR. VINER: Well, I think it's important,
Commissioner Wylie, to say that this application to serve this huge community in
Vancouver and the lower mainland stands on its own. There are the synergies
which we have discussed with CFMT, but what we are applying for today is an
intensely local service to serve only the people in the lower mainland except
with respect to the programming that we are exchanging.
1483 So I don't know if that answers your question,
but we don't have -- there is no other particular broad plan. I will leave
you to ask about the network.
1484 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I am thinking back to the
broadcasting policy review, and I think you said at that time, or someone from
Rogers said that once there was a stable, high quality free, over-the-air
multilingual television service in Montreal and Vancouver, that would be the
time, perhaps to look at more of a network of -- so are you saying now that
you will remain with CFMT, LM-TV and the multicultural channel and that is all
you have in your horizon at the moment.
1485 MR. VINER: I would never want to limit the
1486 I think that to take those remarks in context,
Commissioner Wylie, we believe that if we bring third language services to
markets in Canada they have to be locally reflective, simply because, you know,
the ethnic make-up in each market is different.
1487 Is there a possibility that all of the
participants, all of the ethnic participants might work together in a
network-like way to provide higher quality programming? Certainly. Would we be
interested in exploring that with the other broadcasters? Certainly. But for the
moment and for today this is our chief concern.
1488 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: One more small question
1489 I forgot to ask you, there is no mention in
your application that I recall about report -- devising a way of reporting
to the Commission on your local service to the ethnic communities. It is
paragraph 41 -- maybe, Mr. Sole, you have lost track of that --
that we will expect:
"...licensees to report on the progress of their initiatives in their
subsequent licence renewal. It would be helpful for licensees to indicate in
their plans how they will subsequently evaluate their progress. This is under
the rubric `local content'."
1490 Have you thought of how you would set up a
system to satisfy that requirement?
1491 MR. SOLE: I think we would -- I think
quarterly reports would be fine, from our perspective.
1492 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Or at licence renewal it
would be more a question of -- but anyway, maybe counsel can pursue the
question of how you -- what it is that you will keep track of to be able to
show at renewal time whether you have --
1493 MR. SOLE: Like a checklist?
1494 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. Not necessarily. I
don't think it is necessarily intended to file with us, it's just so that you
have kept track of the local content to report at licence
1495 Counsel may want to pursue
1496 Apparently my colleagues don't have questions,
so before I pass you to counsel I will give you five minutes to answer any
questions I didn't ask.
--- Laughter / Rires
1497 MR. SOLE: Mobina.
1498 MS JAFFER: I just want to add, I am the
President of the YWCA of Canada and one of the things that we have been working
with CFMT in is translating issues on violence against -- in the family and
it has been very effective that we have had in 16 languages that CFMT
has -- because the YWCA does not have resources in other languages, they
have been able to give us the tape and also distribute it for us across the
1499 One of the things that Madeline was saying,
was that -- Ms Ziniak was saying, that it's difficult sometimes. They were
able to give us the tapes, they were able to help us distribute, but it was
difficult for us to find resources or places to distribute in different
1500 The other thing that we found very useful,
what Madeline was talking about and maybe she can add in a minute the heritage,
the kind of programming that we do.
1501 It's very important for women in the ethnic
community who come here, often very isolated -- and when this tape was done
and when I went to Mississauga one of the things a woman said is "I didn't even
know that these kinds of programs existed".
1502 What you would do -- I can only talk
about Toronto because we haven't had the experience here, is what you do is you
give voice to women who are completely isolated by these public service
announcements. This plays a very important role for women to
1503 The other thing is that the public service
announcements that continuously CFMT has done on different programs that exist,
English-language programs that exist, sometimes the only place that women get
news of what is happening in the community is through these
1504 You know, Commissioner Wylie, when you were
talking about half an hour Armenian, the story that came to my mind was that
when I was leaving CFMT to go to the airport there was an Armenian taxi driver
and he said to me very clearly "I completely have my life around this Armenian
half an hour program. I don't drive a taxi that day because that is the only way
I keep in touch with the community."
1505 As a community person, yes, I agree with you
that the half an hour or the hour that you get in each language is not enough,
but it is better than no hours.
1506 MR. LOH: Commissioner, I would just like to
again add something to one question you raised.
1507 You were quite interested in the issue about
services to the Chinese community, whether it is satisfied or not. I want to add
to that two points in terms of the issue of choice and, I guess, access for
1508 On the issue of choice I would like to say
that Fairchild TV -- I am a fan, big fan of Fairchild TV. They do a
wonderful job serving the community. As I mentioned, my in-laws and many members
of my family cannot live without that station. There are very good, talented and
dedicated people working at that station.
1509 But what we are proposing here is an emphasis
on news and current affairs. That is what we are good at and that is what we
think the community needs. Not that we think, actually I know what the community
1510 When you are talking about news, I started out
in the beginning when we did the presentation, I mentioned that in the community
there is a diversity of opinion when it comes to news issues, public affairs
issues. There are controversial issues in the community where diversity of
opinion needs to be presented.
1511 In the Canadian context we have issues like
the boat people issue and in the political realm we have -- Mobina
mentioned about some ethnic politicians we have in our governments. In British
Columbia we have two ethnic Chinese members of the Provincial Legislature of
different political parties, and federally we have three Members of Parliament
of ethnic Chinese origin and from different political parties.
1512 When it comes to a controversial issue it is
important that the media goes to the source and be able to present different
points of views to the community. That is in the Canadian
1513 But in the wider context, in the international
context, there are some very controversial issues relating to or interesting to
the Chinese community such as issues like the June 4th massacre, Tiananmen
Square issue, and also things like the Taiwan independence or reunification with
the mainland China issue. Those issues are very controversial within the
community. It is important for the media the different sources of media that can
present those different diversity of views to the community.
1514 In closing, I would like to say, Commissioner,
I would like you to consider kindly that we all know that Vancouver is diverse
ethnically, culturally; Toronto is also; Montreal also, but in Toronto we have a
CFMT, in Montreal we have CJNT, in Vancouver we don't have a free over-the-air
ethnic television station and we really need one.
1515 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you, ladies and
1516 Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
1517 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
1518 Madam Assheton-Smith will have a few questions
for you, our legal counsel.
1519 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you Madam
1520 I just have a few questions in the areas
mainly of closed captioning and children's programming.
1521 With respect to closed captioning, what
proportion of your ethnic programming would you be prepared to close caption in
each broadcast year during the course of your licence term?
1522 MR. SOLE: I would have Viddear, our Program
Controller, answer that question.
1523 MS KHAN: Thank you, Leslie.
1524 The sample schedule shows a total of
60 hours overall of closed captioning. This is both English and
1525 I will break it down into ethnic hours, which
is 12.5 hours of the present schedule.
1526 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: So you are not in a
position to prepare to commit to close caption at least 90 per cent of your
English-language programming by the year 2002?
1527 MR. SOLE: Yes, we are.
1528 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: You are?
1529 MR. SOLE: I heard third language ethnic.
Ninety per cent of our English programming by 2002?
1530 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: I'm sorry, 60 hours
both English and third language.
1531 MS KHAN: That's right.
1532 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: But by the end of licence
term you would be able to reach the 90 per cent English. You don't know which
percentage of third language by the end of --
1533 MR. SOLE: It is so reliant on technology. We
will do the maximum amount the technology will allow. But in English, yes, the
90 per cent promise is fine with us.
1534 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: And with respect to
English-language local news, would you be able to commit to 100 per cent of
that, including local live news segments by the end of your licence term --
I'm sorry, in your first year of your licence term?
1535 MR. SOLE: In the English
1536 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Yes.
1537 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1538 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1539 You have indicated in your application that
you will have two-and-a-half hours a week of children's programming called "Kids
Time at LM" and you also refer to a number of after school specials and it is
uncertain how many hours will be included of these.
1540 What is the total number of hours of
children's programming that you will be broadcasting each week?
1541 MR. SOLE: Three-and-a-half.
1542 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: What proportion of that
would be English versus third language?
1543 MR. SOLE: It would be predominantly third
language, so 80 per cent third language, 20 per cent
1544 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1545 Just two more final questions.
1546 There was much discussion about your spending
commitments and you indicated a number of these in your opening remarks at
pages 12 and 13.
1547 You have indicated you will spend over $6.8
million to undertake significant initiatives to strengthen local
1548 You have indicated that you will spend
$1.8 million to enhance local programming by establishing a multilingual
television news bureau in Victoria and hiring ethnic freelance reporters in
other Canadian cities and in the Asian-Pacific area.
1549 In addition, you have indicated that you will
spend $4.5 million to support documentary filmmaking in British
1550 Would you be prepared to accept these spending
commitments as conditions of licence?
1551 MR. SOLE: They are all acceptable conditions
of licence, yes.
1552 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Great, thank
1553 Just one last technical
1554 You are probably aware that other applicants
wish to use Channel 42 in Vancouver and Channel 53 in Victoria. If, for any
reason, either one of these was not available, would you be ready, willing and
able to use another channel?
1555 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1556 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
1557 Those are all of our
1558 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Mesdames,
messieurs, thank you very much for your collaboration this
1559 Thank you.
1560 We will break for about 15 minutes and
then we will proceed with the next applicant.
--- Upon recessing at 1645 / Suspension à 1645
--- Upon resuming at 1700 / Reprise à 1700
1561 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank
1562 Madam Secretary.
1563 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam
1564 Our third applicant is Trinity Television
Inc., who are applying for a broadcasting licence to carry on an
English-language religious television programming undertaking in the Fraser
1565 The new station would operate on
Channel 66 with an effective radiated power of
1566 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1567 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Good afternoon, Madam
Chairperson, Commissioners and staff.
1568 My name is Willard Thiessen and I am President
of Trinity Television Incorporated. The application before you today is to
obtain a licence to carry on a television programming undertaking station as a
single-faith owned, balanced religious broadcast service that will meet the
requirements of the Broadcasting Act as well as the Religious Broadcasting
1569 With me today, starting on my immediate right
in the front row, I am very pleased to introduce to you, Mr. Albert Lo, Director
of Programming Balance for Trinity in British Columbia, and incoming board
member at Trinity.
1570 On my far left is Reverend Bernice Gerard, a
former Vancouver City Councillor, current President of Sunday Line
Communications, and a well-known television broadcaster of religious programming
across the country.
1571 Next to Bernice is Mr. Jeff Thiessen,
Vice-President of Trinity Television and Project Manager for this
1572 Mr. Ottmar Kramer, Chartered Accountant, long
time financial advisor to Trinity and General Manager of Finance for MTS
Mobility. That is during his day job.
--- Laughter / Rires
1573 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Next to Ottmar is Mr.
Jim McLennan, most recently Chief Operating Officer of Metro Marketing West in
Vancouver, the national sales arm of CanWest Broadcasting, where Jim
successfully grew the company into the premier representative firm in western
Canada, managing the sales interests of more than 50 television stations in
major markets in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and South
1574 In the second row, starting on my right is Mr.
Bob Meisner, Television Production Manager and Director of Trinity; Mr. John
Reimer-Epp of Deeley, Fabbri, Sellen and legal counsel for Trinity; and
Mr. Richard Edwards of Edwards & Associates, the former Director of
Programming Services & Regulatory Affairs at Videon
1575 Madame Chairperson, we are pleased to appear
before you today with an application that is unlike all the other applicants
before you at this time. It is an application with a difference in geographic
marketplace, in programming and viewer demographics, in ownership and charitable
structure, in fundamental goals and objectives and in day-to-day
1576 At the time of release of PN-1993-78, the
Commission announced the opening of the door for Canadians to have access to a
wider range of religious programming. At that time CRTC advised that the results
of public consultation clearly showed religious values play an important role in
the lives of many Canadians.
1577 The Commission noted that its policies
should -- may I quote -- allow the freest possible communication of
these values, however Canadians do not want our system to:
"...imitate the hardcore fund-raising, intolerance, and other excesses often
found in American
1578 End of quote.
1579 While almost seven years have passed since
first reading that announcement, we at Trinity Television remain excited about
the potential of 93-78 and the tremendous opportunities we now have before us as
1580 We are delighted to be before you today with
an application that we strongly believe fits beautifully, not only the letter
but also the spirit of what is communicated in PN-93-78. We have truly been
looking forward to this day for a very long time.
1581 MS GERARD: My name is Bernice
1582 The majority of residents of the Fraser Valley
are sincere religious people who are dissatisfied with the manner in which
conventional television portrays religion and spirituality. The values generally
portrayed on mainstream television today do not reflect the values of our
1583 It is also our feeling that the values
frequently presented on mainstream television have a negative impact on our
society and do not reflect our principal values, which most often have roots in
our individual spirituality. For this reason, many of us simply do not enjoy
watching conventional television a regular basis. Simply put, as time passes the
gap between conventional television programming and what we and our families
find worth watching, and indeed even appropriate to watch on mainstream
television, is widening and we are not happy about this.
1584 Madam Chairperson, ladies and gentlemen, I am
truly excited to be here today as a long standing member of this community to
represent Trinity Television Incorporated as an incoming Member of the Board.
The Thiessen family are well-known and respected for the work that they have
done in the television media and this application represents a substantial
commitment by a wide range of people.
1585 I am excited about the opportunity we have
here to make a tangible difference in our community by providing viewers of the
Fraser Valley with a meaningful alternative to conventional television. I am
excited to be able to be part of a fresh, vibrant concept in programming by
providing people of our region with the local programming they are desperately
wanting in their lives.
1586 While the Fraser Valley as a region has a
great depth of faith and religious expression, there is presently no local
religious television service available to viewers. Other than the benefits of
receiving a U.S. originated Christian radio station that is not bound by
regulatory requirements for balance, there is no local service actively
programming into this marketplace. This means that the religious aspects of life
in the Fraser Valley remain seriously under represented on television and the
Canadian Broadcasting System is currently not adequately addressing the
religious needs of people.
1587 As a national broadcaster of Christian
programming, I have devoted a great number of years of my life to trying to make
a genuine difference in the community, both globally and locally. The people of
Trinity Television have earned my trust and I know together we will earn the
trust of the Fraser Valley community as a venue for television viewing and
exploring spirituality in daily life.
1588 We want to be relevant, interesting, thought
provoking, enjoyable and challenging to our viewers of every religious
conviction. I know that Trinity takes seriously the need for as well as the
responsibility and value of developing such programming that will be distinctive
to the Fraser Valley.
1589 MR. LO: Madam Chairperson, my name is Albert
Lo. For many years now I have served in various capacities involving employment
equity, multiculturalism, human rights, and television
1590 It is my passion to contribute and work toward
a more tolerant and harmonious society in Canada. It is with this in mind that I
accepted Trinity Television's invitation to participate in the CFVT local
1591 As Director of Programming Balance for
Trinity, my role will be to ensure that our station provides a fully balanced
religious broadcasting service that will satisfy both the letter and the spirit
of the religious broadcasting policy. This commitment to freedom of expression,
balanced by tolerance, is on that we sincerely give to you. It is a statement
driven by my own personal conviction and years of involvement in this community.
I am convinced the Board of Trinity is equally sincere in this
1592 In order to achieve balance, CFVT will work
closely with the faith groups in the Fraser Valley to facilitate the various
1593 We will also ensure that there are many
opportunities throughout our schedule for respectful, non-confrontational
expressions of differing points of view and dialogue on specific topics or
events of religious concern.
1594 In order to accomplish this, we will provide
two different types of programming: faith specific and issue and
1595 Faith specific will include programming by
specific major faith groups. Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and
Sikh, faiths are currently reflected in the programming schedule filed with the
Commission. Representatives in each of these communities will independently
produce programs in order to meet the needs of their own specific
1596 I have personally met with many
representatives of the diversity communities of faith and we are in the various
stages of finalizing agreements to produce programming on CFVT.
1597 Examples of these agreements have been filed
with the Commission and I am excited to be working with these representatives to
ensure that quality, balanced programming is always reflected on our service. We
have committed production facilities, airtime, equipment and expertise as needed
to assist producers and guarantee a high level of production
1598 CFVT will be the voice of the community and
programming will be produced by, for and about the local community. Issue and
event-oriented programs have been scheduled to permit the widest possible group
of viewers to see and participate in the discussion and exploration of religious
1599 Programs in this category will be produced
from an impartial, objective viewpoint and will primarily be in the form of
topical call-in programs or documentaries. By optimizing opportunities for
interaction, viewers will be able to hear and evaluate points of view not
otherwise heard throughout the programming day on CFVT, or anywhere
1600 The programming schedule will include at least
12.5 hours of original balance programming per week during prime time and a
total of at least 18 hours of balance per week, including the choice
Saturday time slots preferred locally.
1601 The guiding principle to be considered, by
myself as Director and the Programming Balance Committee, when monitoring
programs for broadcast is to have the utmost respect for our viewers and their
right to have differing points of view on all matters, especially those
pertaining to religious subjects. Programs will be reviewed for both balance
considerations as well as controversial subject matter as set out in the CFVT
Policy Manual filed with the Commission.
1602 Trinity is committed to providing a positive
role reflecting the moral, spiritual, religious and cultural diversity of the
community we serve. The more integral to the community CFVT becomes, the more we
are able to serve the needs and interests of the growing and diverse Canadian
population of religious people.
1603 We are deeply committed to the development of
Canadian expressions through programming about religion that reflects Canadian
attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, spirituality and artistic
1604 We are equally committed to offering a
uniquely Canadian approach to religious television by showcasing programs of
specific relevance to residents of the Fraser Valley.
1605 MR. McLENNAN: My name is Jim
1606 My involvement with the Vancouver Market is
reflected in sales numbers that have been made available to you. Having
experienced the start-up situation of CFMT Toronto, I can attest to the inherit
difficulties incurred by being overly aggressive in estimating and, to that end,
CFVT is projecting extremely modest levels of advertising revenues and,
relatively speaking, will not require much in the way of finances to
1607 Normal advertising revenues will be
supplemented with charitable donations, and supplementing that will be stations
controlled brokered airtime program sales.
1608 As a Sales and Marketing consultant with over
39 years actively involved in the broadcast industry, I anticipate that CFVT
will attract new advertising revenue from three main sources:
1609 The first of the these sources is the
nontraditional supporter, one not well suited to traditional advertising due to
having a narrow religious target market.
1610 Second, and equally important, is our local
advertiser. They will be able to participate in television as the cost to reach
their community will now be of a scale that the costs tied to the wasted
coverage area that other stations deliver will no longer be a factor. We will be
the answer because we bring economy of scale and pricing to the local
1611 A third group of advertisers are those that
which buy all markets, such as government accounts and will, therefore, add CFVT
to their venue list without reducing their advertising expenditure with other
1612 As much as we would like to attract the
National Advertiser per se, we realistically have to accept that this will be
limited, and this has been taken into account in arriving at our
1613 CFVT is projecting an average of 40 per
cent of the total day and prime inventory by the end of year one, with an
increase of only 10 per cent over the seven year term of the
1614 As you are aware, this estimate is far below
industry standards for conventional broadcasters, but quite adequate for a
1615 With respect to donation targets, our
experience suggests that this revenue stream will be the strongest during the
pre-launch period and first year of operation.
1616 Over time, as the station start-up matures and
the launch period for this new service fades, these donations will level off to
consist primarily of program specific donations. We are completely confident of
this level of support based on past experience with existing programs and events
we produce and the indications of support that we have already
1617 CFVT predicts an average sell-out rate of 70
per cent for foreign-brokered and 30 per cent for Canadian-brokered, resulting
in sales of slightly over $1 million by year seven. This prediction is
conservative based on our discussions with Canadian and foreign religious
1618 We expect Trinity will be in the enviable
position of choosing to broadcast only those foreign programs which are most
appropriate to a Canadian market and which will build a stronger relationship
with our viewers, as we are not profit-driven.
1619 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The heart of our entire
proposal is the dedicated people in the community that comprise our
infrastructure and, of course, our programming.
1620 CFVT is committed to providing a strong,
vibrant, new element to local Canadian content. We will reflect the local
community of Fraser Valley and contribute to the development of a distinct,
balanced, religious television industry that will truly contribute to the
identity of Canadians.
1621 We feel strongly that the application before
you captures the essence of the single faith owned, balanced religious broadcast
service that will meet the requirements of the Broadcasting Act as well as the
religious broadcasting policy.
1622 Over the seven year licence term, CFVT will
spend $4.8 million on the production of new programming and $4.7 million to
purchase Canadian programming. We will also spend over $100,000 on script and
concept development in order to help boost the relatively underdeveloped
religious television production industry in our country.
1623 While Trinity will be operating with
relatively small budgets in comparison to the larger conventional broadcasters,
we are genuinely interested in making a difference where we can and our
commitment is not insignificant. We propose to add a new voice within the
community that will enrich the diversity of expression and bring new
possibilities to the local industry.
1624 Madam Chairperson, the Trinity application
before the Commission is an application with a difference! Exclamation mark!
It's an application to receive approval to provide a new service to a
distinctive community of interest not currently receiving
1625 This community of interest represents a
tremendous constrained demand that has been vocal in expressing their desire to
be served. It is also an area that is unique and cannot be suitably served by
undertakings originating in Toronto or the United States.
1626 Our application will meet the requirements of
the Broadcasting Act, as well as the religious broadcasting policy of the
1627 The entire reason for our existence since 1975
is to serve our community, not provide a financial return to our shareholders,
unlike conventional ownership structures. The foundation of Trinity's existence
as a charitable organization contributes significantly to the reasons why our
programming, production and our business plan will work
1628 In our operation, the profits will be directed
back into the station, into the community and into the products reflected on our
1629 The application will also work because of the
support we receive from the community, as evidenced in the letters filed in our
application. They are from a large cross section of faith groups, individuals
and families who want Trinity to succeed in providing a positive role reflecting
the moral, spiritual and cultural interests of the community we
1630 Trinity has had many successful years of
experience in the industry in which we speak. Trinity Television Incorporated is
an established producer of television programming and operator of modern
television facilities, with over 25 years of experience in the industry.
Trinity produces as much or more local programming daily than most other local
television stations in the country.
1631 Since incorporating, Trinity has produced over
6,000 hours of local programming. In addition to being among the most prolific
independent producers in the country, the quality of our existing television
production facilities is well respected in the industry and ranks among the
largest in the country.
1632 Trinity's financial projections in this
application are modest, yet realistic and responsible. Revenue is derived from a
number of traditional and nontraditional sources, including local under served
advertisers and committed charitable donors.
1633 By the admission of most incumbents and
licensee hopefuls, no material or appreciable negative impact will be
experienced by other licensees on existing or future advertising revenue as a
consequence of licensing trinity in this marketplace. Evidence filed with the
Commission by the incumbents in the Vancouver market suggest that Trinity will
have a less than a 1 per cent impact in this area.
1634 We believe that there is simply no tangible
objection on file that would suggest a reason for our application not to be
1635 With the approval of our application, myself
and the team at Trinity will be pleased to demonstrate the credibility of our
word to the Commission by taking a lead role in Canada of simultaneously setting
a positive standard of adherence to the regulations and providing religious
programming that is successful in meeting the needs of the local
1636 As reiterated by the Commission on February
11th in Decision 2000-40, there is a strong need for emerging local religious
broadcasters in markets where there currently are no local religious television
services. We are very much looking forward to the prospects of fulfilling that
role in the Fraser Valley!
1637 I hope that we have given you a picture of
what CFVT is all about. We are excited about the potential for the Fraser Valley
and look forward to answering any questions you may have for us.
1638 That, Madam Chairperson, concludes the formal
portion of our presentation, but before I turn it back to you our legal
representative has something, I believe, to deal with at this point in
1639 MR. REIMER-EPP: Good afternoon, Madam
1640 The secretary had asked me to put on the
record that there has been a small confusion in the numbering placed by the
Commission on our application.
1641 Just for the sake of clarity, I would like to
draw to your attention that pages 458 through 411 as they appear in the
application should in fact -- to be in accordance with the order they were
filed -- be moved and placed behind page 292.
1642 I trust that hasn't been a difficulty in
evaluating the application, but just to have that on the record.
1643 Thank you.
1644 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
1645 I would ask Commissioner Cram to be addressing
you with the questions of the Commission.
1646 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you. Thank you, Madam
1647 Just to put something else on the record, I
will be using the terms CFVT and Trinity interchangeably for the Fraser Valley
station. When I am referring to the original mother Trinity, if I can call it
that, I will be saying Trinity Winnipeg, just so we are clear and the record is
1648 I wanted first to ask you about Trinity
Winnipeg and the 6,000 hours of local programming.
1649 Who have you programmed for and what programs
have they been?
1650 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: For the record, we began
a program called "It's A New Day" which aired -- began airing in 1976 and
continues to air on Global Winnipeg and is syndicated across the country in many
Global stations as well as the "A" channel stations and some other
independent stations as well, a CBC affiliate station in Kenora for
1651 Another program that we began production of
more recently which airs on the "A" channel in the Winnipeg area is called
"Light Talk" and began airing about 18 months ago. It, like "It's A New Day" is
a five day a week program, one hour per day.
1652 In addition to these two programs, which are
ongoing and both of them are carried live in the local marketplace, we have
produced a program called "Follow Me". It was an original children's program
that was co-produced between ourselves and Global, which was at that time
CanWest or the CanWest station in the Winnipeg market.
1653 It was a co-production and "Follow Me"
was a half hour program that aired in a number of western markets for quite a
number of years. We have about 99 segments of that children's program that are
still in the can, they are still -- they are not dated. They are children's
programs. Children just dressed a little differently on some and the host
dressed a little differently then than they do today.
1654 Then a second program began in the mid-80s
called "Follow Me" which -- pardon me, "Sunshiny Day", which aired again in
Global but it was not co-produced. That was entirely produced by Trinity
Television ourselves. A program that aired in the local market for a
considerable period of time, aired in a variety of other markets in western
Canada and continues to air actually on three or four -- and more possibly,
because we are not able to keep track of it -- satellite stations in the
United States, is carried in some foreign countries as well in their markets and
continues to reap response.
1655 We continue to get mail from that program from
all over the world, which is very gratifying and encouraging. But those four
programs basically encompass the majority of the programs that we produced, I
1656 Pardon me. In addition to that we did produce
a half hour program that was a news-type -- a Christian news program, a
religious Christian news program called "Kingdom Report" which aired for some
period of time on CTS in the Toronto marketplace.
1657 During that period -- it was also carried
for about three years as a segment of "It's A New Day" but had its own identity,
its own billboards front and back, and had its own identity as such. But it gave
us an opportunity to understand what religious news was about. We carried
stories from around the world and it is now -- it has changed to the extent
that we now carry a segment that we used to -- where it carried all of the
news inputs from around the world, we now carry a segment on our daily program
that reflects that perspective.
1658 We have worked with other religious groups
that produce programs. We worked with an Anglican group in Winnipeg who produced
a program called "Essentially Jesus".
1659 Bob, what is the other one? I should let you
1660 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You might want to let
--- Laughter / Rires
1661 COMMISSIONER CRAM: First I want to start with
your programming and there is the issue of the alternate points of view
1662 You referred to it, I believe, Mr. Lo,
when you were speaking and the idea was that the ultimate points of view
programming would be broadcast in prime time and produced by local faith groups.
You filed four contracts, I believe.
1663 Now, you have referred to six groups when you
were speaking, Mr. Lo, unless my count is off, so I take it you have been
speaking to other groups?
1664 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1665 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You have spoken to, you say
Christian -- so Christian, you are saying, is included in the alternate
points of view programming or are they excluded?
1666 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In reality, to provide
balance Christian is going to be the -- is the dominant religion that is
represented on the station. We simply included it because there are times to
provide an alternative point of view there will be a Christian, there will be a
Buddhist, there will -- and far more than that.
1667 One of the things that we feel quite strongly
about bringing to the table is that balance isn't only a matter -- it's not
only giving different representatives of religious groups an opportunity to
speak, but it is a matter of ensuring that a diversity of viewpoints are
presented regarding all issues of public concern.
1668 There are times -- we put the Christian
simply because as we were reflecting on this somebody said "The word Christian
isn't mentioned anywhere in there, let's make sure we at least get it on the
1669 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So this is the half hour we
are talking -- I think it's 9:30 to 10:00 at night.
1670 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No, I'm
1671 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No.
1672 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That half hour will not
include any Christian programming.
1673 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1674 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: When it was other faiths
that are included in this block there is that we realize there are other
religious groups that we have not yet obtained contracts with. We want to
provide opportunity for groups that may not be large enough where they currently
exist to produce a weekly program but may produce a monthly program or an
occasional program, and we want to provide a slot in our prime time programming
schedule where groups will be encouraged to participate and provide an
alternative perspective and their viewpoint.
1675 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I am reading it right,
then, you are referring to Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths. If
my recollection of the file is correct, there were only four contracts that you
had filed in terms of this half hour programming in prime time.
1676 Who is the additional one? I can't even
remember any more.
1677 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We do not have a
contract on file -- I should let Mr. Lo answer this.
1678 MR. LO: The contract with the Buddhist group
is still being finalized. We are having ongoing discussions and we are in the
final stages of being finalized. We just haven't had the opportunity to, you
know, get it finalized and put on the record at this point.
1679 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Just as a matter of
interest, are those the Tibetan Buddhists that came here in 1972 as a result of
the refugee --
1680 MR. LO: No.
1681 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No.
1682 Are you also talking with other groups in
addition to these you have listed?
1683 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1684 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Who else are you speaking
1685 MR. LO: I have been speaking to groups
representing Confucianism, Eching(ph) from which Feng shui is derived from,
which is becoming quite a popular subject in Canada and in fact North America,
and also on Taoism.
1686 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of the Moslem
faith at least, it is not mono -- how do I put it? It is not a
single -- there are various sects within that. How do you propose to deal
with that? There are Shiites and Sunnies and --
1687 MR. LO: Yes, indeed.
1688 Our objective here is to have the producers
from the individual faith groups to produce the programs and what we are trying
to achieve is to seek out the viewpoints from the various faith groups by
reaching out with the various communities in due course. All of those things in
terms of a broad spectrum of viewpoints will be achieved over a reasonable
period of time.
1689 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, the five groups that
you have mentioned here, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, are any of them
presently involved in any sort of television productions?
1690 MR. LO: My understanding is they are involved
in various types of programs over the years simply because -- for example,
the individuals or the group, the Sikh faith, they cover all 36 Sikh societies,
recognized Sikh societies in British Columbia and representatives of that
community have been involved in all kinds of television programming on the other
commercial channels. However, they have expressed to me personally that they
felt that the religious perspectives and religious matters have not been covered
in most instances.
1691 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. I noticed that your
agreement is with the umbrella Sikh society.
1692 MR. LO: That's right.
1693 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. So they have been
producing in other areas, but not in religious programming, is
1694 MR. LO: That's right.
1695 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you know about the
1696 If I recollect, the Jewish one was a
particular Temple, wasn't it?
1697 MR. LO: Yes. Temple Shalom.
1698 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. Have they been
involved in production before, do you know?
1699 MR. LO: They have not. The individual who
signed the agreement has not because he is a Rabbi, but he has people in his
1700 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Congregation,
1701 MR. LO: -- who are involved in
1702 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. Do I take it that you
have talked to all of these individuals and discussed not only their willingness
to be involved, but also their -- if I can call it their practical
capability to do that?
1703 MR. LO: Oh, indeed. We have had discussions at
length and also I would like to point out the fact that Trinity is then ready to
provide free air time and technical support to help bring that
1704 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. That is actually in
1705 MR. LO: Yes.
1706 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
1707 You recognize that we would be looking at you
providing these types of alternate points of view programming throughout any
seven years to any licence should we approve your licence.
1708 What are your backup plans? What if, say, the
Sikhs can't provide you with any further program or a problem arises, what are
your backup plans?
1709 MR. LO: I have been in discussions with a
number of people from the Sikh community and, in fact, because of my prior
involvement in the employment equity arena and also the outreach experience with
the various multicultural societies I have person contacts with a number of Sikh
friends who are experienced in television production.
1710 However, because of the individuals who have
signed that agreement actually represent them so these other individuals are the
backup people who are ready to fill in the gap, so to speak, if -- there
would be no possibility of that coming about.
1711 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Perhaps, Mr. Lo, for the
benefit of the record and my fellow Commissioners who may not have read the full
file, you can sort of put your biography on the record for us.
1712 MR. LO: Yes.
1713 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, you can tell us. Just
--- Laughter / Rires
1714 MR. LO: Okay.
1715 By way of introduction I guess for seven years
while I was working with the federal housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation, I was the regional representative for the Visible Minorities
Advisory Group and for the last three years I was the President of the National
Advisory Group for Visible Minorities working on employment equity, also to deal
with diversity management training, sensitivity training for management, also to
sit in consultation with, for example, the Deputy Minister's Advisory Council
that included 16 Deputy or Assistant Deputy Ministers representing different
1716 For that matter, we also talked about race
relations and there were seminars that were held.
1717 I actually have a list here that included
myself and representatives from, in fact, the Commission itself. It was a
pleasing experience to be able to work with people of diverse cultural and
religious backgrounds and to promote understanding, harmony.
1718 Also we worked on initiatives such as the
International Day For The Elimination Of Racial Discrimination with my
counterparts, the Advisory Group for Women, Advisory Group for Disabled Persons
and Advisory Group for the Natives. We have come a
1719 I was quite pleased, actually, the four groups
were able to put together an effective plan for the corporation which enabled
Canada Mortgage and Housing to be given recognition by the federal government
and it was recognized with the first Visions Award that was given by the Human
Resource Development Canada.
1720 Throughout that period of time I also had
numerous experiences to reach out to the communities.
1721 I was given a lot of support by senior
management to reach out to, for example, locally, the multicultural societies to
go on television and local radio to discuss issues of relevance to our daily
lives, sensitive issues that people don't really like to talk about,
particularly religion, and also what would be the coming values that would
really pull Canada together and make us that much prouder as Canadians in the
eyes of the world. We are really ahead of the game.
1722 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do I understand it
correctly, Mr. Lo, that you are going to be in charge of the Balance Committee,
or at least starting off in charge of the Balance Committee?
1723 MR. LO: To start off, actually, we have
already obtained the agreement of the individuals to sit on this committee which
is going to be at arms length from the Board of Directors. It will be comprised
of five individuals from five major faith groups and I myself have accepted the
position as Director of Programming Balance to ensure the daily monitoring of
1724 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, so you won't be on the
committee. You are going to be on top of them. Is that the idea?
1725 MR. LO: Not on top of them,
1726 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I don't mean it
hierarchically speaking at all. Please don't get me --
--- Laughter / Rires
1727 MR. LO: I will be -- I actually will be
reporting to the committee to the Chairman.
1728 COMMISSIONER CRAM: These individuals on the
Board, you say you have received their agreement in principle?
1729 MR. LO: Yes.
1730 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I don't know whether I
should -- the idea, if I read the application correctly, was that they were
going to be on for -- there was going to be staggered terms for two years
at a time. Have you decided upon a Chair and --
1731 MR. LO: As far as that, we haven't gotten to
that stage yet, simply because we are still at this application
1732 Of course, we already have had discussions
with the various faith groups as to the terms of the office and representatives
from all those faith groups are ready.
1733 Over a period of time when we elect people,
the individual faith group will elect their own representative on a term basis.
This would have to be agreed upon by the representatives of the five major faith
groups themselves. It is not something that we are going to impose on the faith
groups because that is simply not something that we would stand
1734 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So and what they will do
then is they will meet and, if I have it correct, they are supposed to report
quarterly in writing. Is that your concept?
1735 MR. LO: I'm sorry?
1736 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The committee is going to
meet and they are supposed to report quarterly in writing?
1737 MR. LO: This committee is going to meet once a
month and it has the -- it is going to have a lot of discretion as to how
much day-to-day monitoring they want to do. But in all practicality, obviously
they would not be able to handle everything.
1738 So as far as the daily monitoring goes, it
would fall on my shoulder as Director of Programming Balance. Again, one person,
obviously, would not be able to handle the job and so I would have a staff who
is going to report to me and we are going to monitor the programs, both on
a -- we are going to preview all the programs, and also when there is a
program being broadcast -- staff would be making a lot of the
1739 Then after a broadcast, the broadcast of a
particular program, we are going to have a post broadcast review to make sure
that if certain viewpoints are not reflected then what we are going to do is go
into the various communities throughout connections with the faith groups to
obtain the expertise, the experts and specialists for a specific subject matter
and try to ensure that there is a very broad spectrum of viewpoints to be
presented to the viewers so that a reasonably objective viewer would be able to
draw his or her conclusion. That is how we are going to do it.
1740 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I just want to go back to
1741 Do I understand it, then, that what you are
trying to do is essentially keep these five groups, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish,
Muslim and Sikh on as the sort of main alternate faith groups. Is that the
1742 I said before what if the Sikhs for some
reason cancel. Let's take another. What if the Jewish people have to cancel? I
mean, what are your backup plans for something like that, in the event something
like that happens?
1743 MR. LO: Well, as far as the Jewish groups,
once again we are not going to simply just sit there and hope that everything
will run the way it is going to run.
1744 As a matter of fact, other than preparing for
this particular presentation today I have been having and maintaining ongoing
discussions with the various faith groups to make them aware that there are
opportunities that might become available -- and I used the word "might"
simply because we have not obtained the licence yet. But we hope that we will
get the licence and so on that basis many people that I have spoken to, they are
very excited and they are ready to back us up in every shape and
1745 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In your application --
and perhaps Mr. Thiessen I should direct this to you -- you stated that
there would be 18 hours of original balanced programming a week and
12.5 hours of original prime time. Would you accept that as a condition of
1746 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Can I just make one
1747 We are showing 18 hours, but I am showing 2.5
hours of repeat programming. So I am 2.5 hours short of original, but we
will show we are very willing to accept and, if need be, I will do another 2.5
hours of original.
1748 But we programmed the schedule the way we have
prepared it. We believe we will be able to present a balanced perspective and we
would accept that as a basis of licence.
1749 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So subject to your
reservation right now about the issue of the repeat.
1750 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The repeat,
1751 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On the not specific points
of viewer programming but on the balanced programming -- and I believe, Mr.
Lo, you called that issue and event-oriented programs. Is that what you called
that in terms of open line and that kind of programming?
1752 You know that what we have said is it is not
sufficient that listeners have the opportunity to participate but that you need
effective plans to ensure different points in view, in other words that your
guests on the open line are from different faiths.
1753 You have "Fraser Valley Live" programmed here.
It appears to be an open line show. What are your plans in terms of guests
showing the alternate point of view?
1754 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I will start on that if
I might --
1755 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sure. I'm
1756 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: -- and then I will
have Albert continue on after this. He is the one with the
1757 As we were looking at crafting a program
schedule that we felt could best meet the requirement for balance, and we
realize that to give it only to specific faith groups would not ensure that. No
matter how many you gave it to, it would still not ensure that -- I mean,
faith groups just are the way they are, "I want to present my view, not
1758 So we realized that was a factor and we
realized there had to be some programs that we had a distinct and definite input
into where we could call forth -- and this is where in our logs, for
instance, in our program, we are discovering there are certain points of view
just are not coming out.
1759 Then these programs that we are looking
at -- if I might refer, "World Report" is the first, the second on is
"Focus" and the third, then, is "Fraser Valley Live". They are actually crafted
in such a way that they could be a continuum to deal with specific issues if we
chose. They may not necessarily be that way, but they could be that way where
"World Report" could deal with the issue that is not being well
1760 We would be sending out a camera, possibly, to
get some stories out there from the community to present views that aren't being
presented and put them in stories and include them in the "World Report", the
half hour news program that deals with religion.
1761 Then following that, we would then bring
people from the various faith communities, but not necessarily only faith
communities because sometimes there are issues that have faith interest but
there may be leaders in other places or people who have training, universities,
colleges and other places that would have a way of communicating
1762 The form in the "Focus" program, it might be
two, three or four or five different people that would be brought into that
program now where the host would then encourage the diversity of opinion to come
forth and then this program will flow into the live -- or the response
program where viewers then can respond and interact directly with the panel
members that come from that diversity.
1763 As I mentioned again, they may not just come
from the faith communities. We may have to go beyond that to get the diverse
point of view that is needed.
1764 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I understand the
1765 What plans have you made in terms of --
is there any more in terms of putting structure in this to ensure
1766 MR. LO: Well, in terms of the structure to
ensure that all viewpoints are going to be reflected -- once again, when we
are doing this phone-in obviously we cannot force people to phone in. A lot of
times maybe you get a batch of phone calls and the viewers they all represent
one particular viewpoint.
1767 But because we are going to keep program logs
and we are going to do the post monitoring, and also all of that in the absence
of the meetings or the decision that is made by the Programming Balance
Committee, I will make the interim decision as the Director. However, my
decision is subject to review by the committee itself.
1768 So the committee is not only going to review
my decision, it is going to also review the program logs, if they so choose and
also, if there are situations where certain viewpoints are not reflected, then
in addition to our own individual efforts as part of the management team to go
out and obtain the different viewpoints and representation, the Programming
Balance Committee, by virtue of the fact that they are represented by people
from the various faith groups, they also have the opportunity to make
recommendations and to also give input as to the propriety and appropriateness
of certain programs or whether certain extra measures should be
1769 Also because of the autonomy of the committee
itself, management is going to take the input from the committee and put it into
1770 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On Fridays you talk about
the smaller faith communities having that -- I think it's that half hour.
Could you give me examples and what have you done towards finding -- are
there Jains in the community or -- J-A-I-N, you know -- Shintus or, I
mean, what have you done in relation to that.
1771 MR. LO: We have spoken to the community
groups. We have tried to reach out, but at the same time, again, because we are
at a point where we don't want to go out there and basically rouse up everybody
and present a misleading kind of a piece of information in terms of obtaining
the participation or the input from all the other faith groups.
1772 Obviously what is going to happen is that we
are going to promote the opportunities that we have here at CFVT. In terms of
the other faith groups, there are directories of those faith groups and extra
effort is going to be made in terms of personally contacting those groups to
make them aware of these opportunities. Of course, you know, we cannot really
dictate whether they participate or not, but the door is open.
1773 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Will there be live
Christian services during the daytime or in the daily schedule?
1774 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually, at this point
we have not scheduled any live Christian programming. It will all be either
alternative or -- it will basically be the balanced programs. It will be
1775 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I want to go back again to
the committee, not very heavily though.
1776 I take it, then, that all members of the
committee will not be Christian?
1777 MR. LO: No. Again, because it is a Programming
Balance Committee, and also because the committee is structured in such a way
that they have a free hand to review every program and, therefore, there would
be representation from the Christian groups too.
1778 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm missing
1779 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: What is your structure
now, Albert? What is the structure of your committee of the faith group? One
Christian, one --
1780 MR. LO: One Christian, one Jewish, one Hindu,
on Moslem and I would have to look at -- one Sikh, I'm
1781 COMMISSIONER CRAM: One Sikh.
1782 Would you anticipate that that would change
over time? Would you eventually perhaps replace one with an aboriginal or is
that etched in stone?
1783 MR. LO: We are prepared to consult with the
1784 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What you are saying is the
communities themselves are choosing these individuals?
1785 MR. LO: Well, each faith group. Each faith
group can nominate a representative.
1786 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: If I may just add, we
look at this as a fluid situation. This is not a fixed, cast in stone
1787 From where we are today, we have something to
start with. We believe it goes a long ways towards meeting the needs. We aren't
sure that it is going to ideally meet it. Our commitment, though, is to meet
that in some way.
1788 If along the way -- and I'm sure there
will be groups that are going to say "We don't get representation here". Whether
downstream we will have to bring groups in that say, you know, for a one year
term we provide, say, one or two chairs that are rotating more of the
smaller -- or groups that are not represented at all here, if that is
a -- we are wide open to that.
1789 It is how can we best do the job and yet
provide -- we know we will have to -- we may have to go out to help
draw the people to come and be involved because sometimes people are so involved
in their own religion they don't -- or their own interests, they don't want
to necessarily come into another group and take an interest.
1790 But we believe we will find people of every
faith group that we -- and we will be very open. We want to be monitoring
the community, we want to be hearing what the community is saying, have our ears
wide open and respond to the needs of the community as best we
1791 If I can just --
1792 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I only have one concern,
and don't tell my mother I said this: Would there ever at any time be more than
one Christian on this committee?
1793 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: At this point in time
that is not our intention. I don't see that happening. We don't feel that we
need an equal share like three Christians and three non.
1794 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Because the idea is to
ensure diversity and so --
1795 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Precisely. And how can
we ensure that if we have -- we just don't want to go
1796 MR. REIMER-EPP: If I may just interject
1797 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Please don't take anything
I said as in any way meaning to upset my mother.
1798 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No.
--- Laughter / Rires
1799 COMMISSIONER CRAM: She hasn't raised a --
1800 Anyway, Mr. Reimer-Epp.
1801 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, if I can
1802 The committee presently as it is structured in
the policy manual is limited to one representative of each faith group quite
decidedly. It would take an actual change to the policy manual to effect
1803 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1804 MR. REIMER-EPP: So presently it is set up to
stay that way.
1805 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How are changes made to the
1806 MR. REIMER-EPP: At the discretion of Board of
1807 Now, of course I mean in good faith to do
that. To change this committee could not be done without the consultation and
co-operation of the committee. I think that would clearly undermine the purpose
of it. But the bottom line would be, of course, that it is up to the Board to
make those decisions.
1808 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1809 The next issue is covering hot topics, general
public concern issues. I'm going to use abortion and please don't think that it
is an issue in my mind at all, but I want to sort of see how you are going to
achieve the balance that we in our decisions have spoken about in getting
different perspectives on issues like homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, you
1810 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: These are issues that it
would be interesting because amongst some of the faith community you would have
a hard time getting the diversity among the faith community. In fact, many of
them would all line up on the same side.
1811 So this is one of the reasons when I mentioned
before to provide the diversity we might have to go outside of the faith
communities to bring a perspective to those issues.
1812 But first of all let me -- there is a
more fundamental issue that we want to bring to the table, that only if issues
would be considered religious in the sense -- or having a -- we do
want to remain a religious station as such and where the impact in religious
community and effect the way the community looks at these things we will
address, even if the alternative is a nonreligious perspective, we want to make
room for that as well.
1813 So that the hot topics -- I suspect that
we -- we suspect, as we have been talking about this, we realized in
formulating our perspective on this that there may be more issues that we have
no idea of that will come along the stream.
1814 But if in fact they impact the religious
community, the viewpoints of the religious community, we realize we will have to
bring in an alternative point of view, and maybe more than one, to the table to
enable us to -- for people who view the station, even if they are
of -- they will hear a viewpoint that is different from the religious
1815 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That again will be
monitored by Mr. Lo. Is that the concept?
1816 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. Some of these
issues we realize that the Balance Committee may not be the -- although it
is our primary balance watchdog, so to speak, we are committing Mr. Lo and
the staff that work for him, and it will be our production staff, when they are
recognizing and realizing that we are talking about an issue now and it is not
being addressed, we as the station have the ultimate responsibility of ensuring
that balance is provided on the station. It isn't the Balance Committee that has
that responsibility, it's us.
1817 So we are going to be going out of our way to
ensure that we log the issues when they are brought on. The producers will have
that responsibility and then we will have to -- we will go to the community
to find the diverse perspectives and bring them on-board, and there is room in
the "Focus" program particularly that will give opportunity for that, for those
issues to be raised.
1818 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Have you started developing
your -- I call it a rolodex -- have you started developing your
rolodex on these issues or the people who you can phone up or
1819 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually we have not yet
in this area.
1820 The experience we have had in the Winnipeg
market, we are doing a program that is a nonreligious program. It is an
issue-based program called "Light Talk". Contrary to what some people told us,
it is actually being very effective.
1821 We have been able to tap into a broad spectrum
of the community, from the educational institutions, the university, the
colleges, but we have also gotten into the media, we have gotten into other
areas, we have gotten to the religious communities and they have responded, and
we have found that if we treat issues fairly we are able to find people that
will come out and deal with it.
1822 Where we deal with respect and understanding
and the fact that we allow a divergence of viewpoints without -- one of the
things we have to really guard against is that there are some people who have a
very strong -- will sometimes come out in a way that demeans the other
person and we want to avoid that in every way that we possibly can. We really
believe that dealing with issues that are different must be done so with respect
to the person that is expressing those points of view.
1823 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That is on the program that
is on the Craig station?
1824 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That is on the Craig
station now, yes.
1825 MR. REIMER-EPP: If I may just pick up on the
point that Willard made about the meaning and issues of that
1826 Of course it is covered in our policy manual
very specifically so that those types of situations will be remedied. That is s
very deliberate thing.
1827 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You actually consider it to
be a Board of Directors issue as opposed to the committee issue, the balance
1828 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, I do. Because
ultimately we as a station -- the station will be governed by the Board of
1829 I mean, they own the -- Trinity
Television is a charity and the Board have the ultimate responsibility. So the
Board itself ultimately has the responsibility of ensuring that we meet all of
the requirements of the Broadcast Act and the Commission's
1830 By the way, that will be through the station
1831 I just want to say that our station
manager -- they will be watching these things, but ultimately it goes to
the top. But I don't see the Board of Directors monitoring the station on a
1832 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is there some mechanism the
same as Mr. Lo was talking about for this post mortem monitoring? Say you have
"Focus" or "Fraser Valley Live" -- I forget the names -- and you are
talking about euthanasia, is there then going to be a sort of a monitoring, a
1833 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I will pass this on to
1834 MR. LO: Yes, indeed on a life program
obviously, like when we monitor a life program and based on the log, the program
log that is kept, we have to review it after the fact.
1835 Also, when we see some viewpoints that are not
expressed obviously we have to take some steps and that includes going to the
community to seek out the other points of view to be presented to the
1836 Also, the Balance Committee is free to make
recommendations based on the monitoring reports as to what is happening
1837 Like both the management, the staff, the
Director, that is myself and the committee, so everybody would be working
together in the same direction.
1838 MR. REIMER-EPP: With respect to those issues
that aren't balance related, the program manager will be the -- I'm sorry,
the program director will be ultimately responsible for overseeing those things.
That becomes a management issue, all the aspect of a policy manual that are
covered -- that cover issues outside of balance become the responsibility
of station management.
1839 That clearly is going to use many of the same
mechanisms that balance uses in terms of logging and reviewing programs before
and after. So many of the same mechanisms, but a different group for actually
maintaining those records.
1840 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
1841 The application talks about microprograms
throughout the week. What are these going to be about? Who is involved? When are
they going to be broadcast?
1842 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Programming is my
1843 We want to -- we realize that we aren't
looking at a huge area, we are looking at a very specific area of territory that
we would be covering and that we are focusing our attention to. We want to bring
our identity to that community or bring that community to itself. We wanted to
help that community identify itself.
1844 We believe there are a lot of stories that
that community needs to hear about itself. These aren't long. Individual --
this may be about artists, it might be about children, it might be about school
initiatives, it might be about a lot of different things, but having a spiritual
or religious perspective.
1845 We feel that to help meet the needs of the
community we want to bring a cohesiveness to the community and we want to
help -- you see, the faith specific programs will tend to be in one area
and some groups will say, "Well, I'm just not going to watch during that
1846 But if we bring identity in small excerpts, in
small stories, in human interest stories that are covered within a two minute
segment and play them at diverse times throughout the day, at various times,
that is the kind of program we are looking at and we will have a producer in
charge to put those together. They will be tightly edited, just nicely put
together. They will be human interest, they will have a warmth to them, but they
will bring an identity to the community.
1847 We believe it will help to bring a
cohesiveness and a sense we belong. They are part of my community and help bring
identity to it that way.
1848 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So would I be right in
saying probably not longer than two minutes each?
1849 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Oh, these are two minute
stories or less.
1850 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1851 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In lieu of playing
advertising during that time, because we aren't selling out all of our
advertising, we will be running these programs, these mini, mini, mini, mini
stories throughout the day -- at various points of the day and around the.
They are vignettes. Maybe that is the best way to put that.
1852 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Vignettes,
1853 They would have a
1854 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
1855 COMMISSIONER CRAM: -- spiritual
1856 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: They will have a
religious root to it or a purpose for it.
1857 We are not going to be taking about
gardens -- I'm just saying, but it will have --
1858 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Not that there is anything
wrong with gardens, but, yes.
--- Laughter / Rires
1859 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Wrong word with
"gardens", I'm sorry.
1860 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, no, no.
1861 In your letter of November 29 of last year you
talked about children and youth programming and you said you would commit to 6.5
hours a week for children 2 to 11 and 8.5 hours a week for young adults 12 to
1862 Would you accept that as a condition of
1863 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
1864 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In the supplemental brief
you talked about a production of more than 24 hours a week of new regional
Canadian programming. What do you mean?
1865 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Well, our schedule now
the way we show it airing it with -- we are actually showing 26 hours in
our schedule now of new local or regional programming and we are committed. We
are committed to -- we are saying 24 hours.
1866 In our policy, programming policy, our
intention -- and we have indicated this in our application -- is that
we want to make the local programming work. We want to give a voice to the
1867 We believe that the local community is the
best voice to speak to. There are people within the community who can speak well
to themselves and so we want to facilitate that, we want to encourage it, and we
are committed to that.
1868 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When you say "regional", is
that in the terms of the TV policy? Is that what that -- the priority
programming. Is that what you mean?
1869 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I should have made it
25.5 hours and said "local only".
1870 I have one program that is aired or that has
been produced on Vancouver Island now. He desperately wants to be on-board and I
thought that fits the regional characteristic of this and I included his half
hour program a week in that.
1871 But other than that we would be having 25.5
that would be local within the reach of the station itself.
1872 Am I right?
1873 MR. REIMER-EPP: Just to further answer the
question, I believe that you were referring to whether or not this is going to
be priority programming?
1874 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
1875 MR. REIMER-EPP: It is. That is the
1876 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So the word
"regional" is the terminology of the television policy?
1877 MR. REIMER-EPP: Correct.
1878 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1879 In terms of foreign programming, you say that
as you get more money you will have additional agreements with -- aside
from the one that you presently have, with others in the States, the U.K. and
1880 Have you looked into that?
1881 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Very
1882 We have been in -- I haven't been
directly involved. A very good friend of mine has been involved in working with
the U.K. There is a channel that has just come on-stream relatively recently in
the U.K. and someone that I know well is working in that area.
1883 The things are changing in the marketplace and
we love to bring -- if we are bringing in foreign programming we would like
to bring an expression that is more international rather than American, and that
is something we want to work at.
1884 Where we can we would like to substitute what
we are showing now as American programming, we would like to bring in other
religious programming from other parts of the world.
1885 We believe that would bring a diversity and it
would actually -- it would enhance what's happening. We see very
little -- in fact we don't see any of that now in our marketplaces. I would
like to see at least a little bit of it come in.
1886 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So there is some available,
you believe, in the U.K. and --
1887 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Oh, we know it's
available, it's just a matter of we have not made the arrangements to go out and
1888 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then you have scheduled
faith movies from, I think it's 8:00 to 10:00 on Saturdays and Sundays at
1889 Can you tell us what these are about? Are they
1890 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. They will be faith
programming. We are not counting it in our Canadian content at this point
because we don't want to be limited to it.
1891 We include it in our application, just a whole
listing. We found one of the libraries in the States that had material
available -- religious material available and some of the product that was
mentioned there might not fit what we would call "religious", but yet most of
the items in it would. They were so diverse, all the way from "Ben Hur"
to -- you know, there is "The 10 Commandments", and so on, which were
obvious ones to us. But we were surprised at the kinds of listings that we came
up with that most of us had never heard about.
1892 We realized there is material available to us
that has a religious context that we have not aired in our communities and we
would like to bring some of that into the station and provide an opportunity for
our community to see some -- we have been very limited in the area
of -- you know, there is the odd movie that comes out now that is a faith
perspective movie, but they are few and far between. We would like to bring an
alternate opportunity for people to see these kinds of things.
1893 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are they in the public
1894 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon
1895 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are they in the public
1896 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Do you know that we have
included a small amount, but most of them are actually available. There are
libraries in the States where you can obtain them for a very
1897 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So even if they call them
religious, you would then do your own religious screening.
1898 Is that what I hear?
1899 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We have realized that
what some people call religious doesn't fit the category that we have embraced,
which is the definition of religion that the CRTC had put down. We clearly
accept that as being the basis of all our programming and we will surround
ourselves with that particularly.
1900 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The business plan, I think
we are at you Mr. McLennan, or maybe --
1901 First I wanted to talk about market share and
in terms of the market share -- now maybe that is not you.
1902 Is it you, Mr. McLennan?
1903 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
1904 COMMISSIONER CRAM: There is a reference here
to the market share in your projections going from 1 to 1.5 in year one and then
up to year seven.
1905 That is for the Vancouver
1906 MR. McLENNAN: No. No, I think what we have
done is we have looked at the micro BBM and we have gone through the area that
we are serving, which is about 850,000 people, and we are using that as our
1907 We looked at Vision, actually if you go back a
little bit how we got there, is we took Vision and how it came into the
marketplace out here. It is very hard to get numbers that make any sense, quite
honestly, especially with the nature of programming that we have because it
doesn't get big.
1908 So we have to deal in the reality that maybe
numbers don't tell the whole story. So we have to sort of be creative and look
at what has happened and try to apply it to what we are doing, which is what we
1909 We have less than a 1 per cent share seven
years later and I don't think that is a threat to anybody in the business, but
we know from experiences that we have had in the business that rating points and
shares and audience don't make a difference to this kind of station. We know
from the support that we have had from viewers, and that is the measure of our
1910 Does that answer your
1911 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Well, sort
1912 Then I compare Vision to your projections in
year one. Your projections are a reach of 270,000 people, 350,000 hours of
viewing and a 1 share, but Vision only has, and this is now,
259,000 hours, a 1 share and 191,000 people. That is after being
around for five years.
1913 MR. McLENNAN: Yes. I can only answer that as
we have tried to put the best we could looking at the micro BBM in our
particular area, and that is the number that sort of came out to
1914 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you pulled it out of
your own micro BBM?
1915 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
1916 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1917 There was another reference in your
application to a survey of 2,400 supporters. Does this mean donors? Where did
these 2,400 people come from?
1918 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That's a good point. I
mean, we didn't go out to get a -- this is a very biased group of people.
These are people that have been supporting television programming at one level
or another somewhere along the way, but we approached them with a concept
of -- and asked them --
1919 Really I need to let Mr. Reimer-Epp deal
with this, or he and Jeff can deal with it, because they were the ones who were
working on this particularly.
1920 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually didn't really
get into it in a major way other than to send out a small sample in our
newsletter and just say "If you would like to, we would like to have you fill
out this form, this questionnaire."
1921 A significant number of them actually
responded and said "Yes, we would like to fill out that questionnaire", in spite
of the fact they had to mail it in to us.
1922 So it isn't scientific, it wasn't meant to be,
it was just to provide some kind of indication of support from this particular
area, the Fraser Valley area, what they are thinking.
1923 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So these people were on
1924 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: On our mailing list,
1925 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On your mailing
1926 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
1927 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And it went out with your
1928 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: That's
1929 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1930 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We are not talking
Environics here, we are talking our own.
1931 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I understand
1932 How did they know about you?
1933 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually are on the
station here on Global and have been for the last number of
1934 So, yes, we have had a presence in the B.C.
area for a very long time as well as being on Vision as well. So we are into
this market in two different ways right now.
1935 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1936 Have you done any survey of the general
1937 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: No, we haven't. We have
done that in the past and at that point it didn't get us a licence
--- Laughter / Rires
1938 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We couldn't afford
--- Laughter / Rires
1939 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: But other ones have been
done in the past and fairly significant ones too, so we have an indication from
both the ones we have done ourselves and other people have done. So we decided
instead we would go to the people who we are targeting, the people who would
actually be supporting and the people who we feel are going to be impacted by
this station directly.
1940 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, I think it
is probably fair to say that we are very aware that there is demand in the
Toronto market and that back in 1992 there was demand across the country for a
1941 There is no particular reason that we are
aware of to think that the Vancouver, in particular the Fraser Valley markets
are significantly different, so significantly different from the country as a
whole and from the Toronto area that that general level of interest can't be
assumed to be here as well.
1942 We chose to supplement that by our own survey
which indicates to us that among people who are involved in religion and who are
regularly involved, that they do support the station. So on that basis there is
certainly a strong foundation to start from and that was the purpose of this
1943 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And yet I guess, then, it
comes down to the surveys in the past ostensibly having translated themselves
into viewership for other stations. Is that --
1944 MR. REIMER-EPP: I think what Jeff may have
been meaning is that the Toronto surveys resulted in the licence, just not for
1945 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, but when you look at
the viewership, if you are talking about a substantial demand, there does not
appear to be a substantial demand for Vision, nor for Crossroads in terms of
1946 MR. REIMER-EPP: You are meaning in terms of
1947 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Actual share,
1948 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes. I believe
Mr. McLennan's comment earlier might be the best way to address that in
that the numbers sometimes don't reflect the level of support which actually
comes through from viewers to an organization like this one which has another
way of measuring that support, which is donations.
1949 If they are coming, you certainly know that
people are watching and liking what they are seeing. That is something --
that is an advantage, I suppose, that a conventional service doesn't
1950 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So you talk about
share, but share isn't everything because there is a bonus sort of thing in
terms of the donation and the --
1951 MR. McLENNAN: We have a different way of
measuring and it s a very clear way and it's dollars and cents.
1952 When a person responds to our program that is
going on in the Vancouver market they get response, they get support, because
they want the program in the marketplace. The market is growing for us, so
therefore we can feel very comfortable that the demand for what we have is very
much needed in this marketplace.
1953 It is a community spirit that we are trying to
bring here and it is a spirit that is being received by the community and it is
a question: Can we go into the territory of the Fraser Valley and do a better
job in there for them? We believe we can and that is where we are coming
1954 You can have all the figures and numbers in
the world, but the reality of it is that there are people out there who need
what we have and we would like to do it.
1955 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think also, though,
in terms of the demand, especially in the Valley, is there is the other issue of
what else is available in the Valley?
1956 I am assuming people have access to Vision.
What else is available in the Valley for religious programming?
1957 MR. McLENNAN: I would like to start by saying
there are alternatives, of course there are.
1958 You have the KVOS, for example, as must be
running the neighbourhood of 10, or 8 to 10 hours -- I'm guessing, I
haven't looked at it lately, but they are carrying a lot of religious
1959 There is limited programming at CKVU, there is
BC-TV is carrying religious programming. So yes, there is programming going into
the Fraser Valley, no question about it.
1960 Radio stations are getting in. We alluded to
the American stations across the border which are not far away that are coming
up here and they are carrying programming. So, yes, there is.
1961 But the difficulty that we have here is that
the community has no place local that it can tie into and the stations are
limiting their program to more of a national perspective rather than a local
1962 So here we bring a new picture to the
community and the picture is involvement, and that's what they don't bring. We
believe through this type of programming basis we can bring that involvement. It
is a step forward.
1963 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do I really understand that
the only sort of semi-local -- and I use that advisedly -- religious
programming then is that radio in -- it's starts with Layton or
1964 MR. McLENNAN: Lynden.
1965 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Lynden?
1966 MR. McLENNAN: Lynden, Washington,
1967 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. It's semi-local in the
sense that it is --
1968 MR. McLENNAN: Oh, yes, it is certainly heard
1969 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What is its share in the
1970 MR. McLENNAN: I can't answer the question. I
1971 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: I don't
1972 COMMISSIONER CRAM: A big share or a small
share? No idea?
1973 MR. McLENNAN: Probably small if you look at a
1974 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
1975 So when you say in Section 10 of your
application that you have a feeling that there is a dramatic growth in the
numbers and a proportion -- I think it is of individuals interested in
programming, Christian programming and religious programming since 1991, and you
say your programming is based on this assumption, where does that come
1976 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Actually I'm glad you asked
that just because I think everybody in this room would probably start seeing how
Hollywood is starting to change some of their philosophy in programming to a
1977 "Touched By An Angel" has actually grown and
had a lot of success and there are a number of other programs.
1978 I think even who we wouldn't expect to are
starting to see a rise in interest in spirituality. That is, I guess, where I'm
coming from, is that there is a backlash to some of the -- probably the
deepest, darkest parts of Hollywood that people are saying "I have had enough
of", and even some of the family or the mainstream broadcasters are starting to
change some of their philosophy in programming.
1979 So there is a return, I think, from the broad
community that may have not thought of themselves as religious before are
starting to think of themselves more in terms of what is there out there that is
more than just a commercial world and they are thinking more along the lines of
spirituality nowadays. That has been documented in Macleans and a number of
other articles on a return of spirituality in this country and especially in
1980 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Moving on to
1981 In your broadcast policy manual, I think it is
Section 2.1, you talk about not having more than 12 minutes an hour of
advertising. You would accept that, of course, as a condition of
1982 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, we
1983 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, I thought you also
talked about not more than 8 minutes an hour for children. Did I read
1984 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I believe that that is
part of our policy, yes.
1985 MR. REIMER-EPP: I can confirm that that is,
1986 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would you accept that a
condition of licence?
1987 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes, we would.
1988 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I remember correctly
also, it was not the -- advertising was actually not directed at
1989 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I believe that's right.
Yes, that is correct.
1990 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It sounds like I have read
your policy more recently than you, Mr. Thiessen.
1991 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I think you
1992 Pardon me, I will have the others who have
read the policy respond.
1993 MR. REIMER-EPP: I can confirm that that is the
case, Commissioner Cram.
1994 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to go on to
brokered programming and that as a source of income. I guess that comes from
the -- am I right, Mr. McLennan, that comes from the 8 to 10 hours
that KVOS has? Can you explain it?
1995 MR. McLENNAN: The programming will come, we
anticipate, not as -- I don't think we are going to in the first year or
first two years take very much from anybody. I think our difficulty will be
establishing ourselves as a candidate for business. But we have used numbers
that reflect the possibility of either coming from a KVOS or another station as
1996 Religious broadcasters, and I have been
involved with them -- and this is how Willard and I first met --
religious broadcasters have no fear of going into a place where there is a
highly religious community, whether it is American or Canadian and, yes, KVOS
has a lot of American religious broadcasting going on, as do the Canadian
stations. We would offer just another window of opportunity, and that is the way
they look upon it from that point of view.
1997 So yes, I would say we might have some of
KVOS's programming if it meets our criteria.
1998 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So how is -- if I have
it right, you will be buying brokered programming from the U.S. Is that the
1999 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Brokered programming is
where they buy time from us.
2000 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, I'm sorry. I get it
2001 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Right.
2002 There are many people from organizations that
are looking for opportunity and we will be selective in those that we choose for
programming. We feel strongly about this.
2003 In the 93-78 statement regarding religious
broadcast policy when it came out, one of the statements was made there there
was a concern that there be an opportunity within the Canadian marketplace for
religious programming to be developed that was distinct and different and unique
2004 That has been something that has been deep
within our hearts from before we began -- I began television -- I left
the industry for that particular reason, is that I believed there was a place
and a need within the Canadian environment for something other than what we were
seeing from the United States.
2005 At that time almost all of our programming was
coming in from the United States. There has been some change over the last
2006 But I still strongly believe that there are
Canadians who have a gift that has not been expressed.
2007 One of the greatest difficulties for the
development of the expression of a gift is a lack of opportunity for it to get
developed. Our current commercial marketplaces are very expensive. It is a
miracle that we are on television.
2008 If we had not had a station in the Winnipeg
market, a small station in a small market that was very sensitive to what we
wanted, and a station manager that was willing to take a chance and risk on
somebody who was a novice, we would not be here today.
2009 But because of the manager of the Global
station there who saw something in us that I think we wanted -- we wished
was there but weren't at all sure it was, but he took a chance on us, and so
his -- they literally subsidized us, in a sense because they were willing
to. Through that we ended up being in the marketplace across Canada today,
literally our program aired from coast-to-coast, but it started because someone
believed in us.
2010 We want to be that kind of a station. Because
others have done it for us we feel strongly that there is a development of
Canadian programming that Canadians want.
2011 When I began the thing that I struggled with
most was the fact that I felt nobody would want to watch us after they had
watched the slick Canadian programs. The shock we had was that that in
fact -- we found that not to be true, that they actually picked our program
instead, which still blows me away.
2012 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: You said slick Canadian
programming. You meant slick American programming.
2013 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon me, slick
American programming. We don't know how to do slick Canadian programming. I
shouldn't say that.
2014 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I have it, then, your
hourly price of that is $300. Is that it?
2015 MR. McLENNAN: Three hundred I believe is
2016 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How did you decide on
2017 MR. McLENNAN: It was just based on a figure
that we know that you have different markets right here in Vancouver, we looked
at our share that we felt we could deliver to somebody. We felt that our
going-in position should be low and it is low and it is achievable and it works
2018 So we really took it backwards into this
number and we said, "What can we do to get people to be responsive to our
programming?" So we came in that direction and arrived at that
2019 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Talking about donations, we
are talking about $650,000 in year one from individuals and
2020 Have you sort of broken it down between
individuals and businesses or not?
2021 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It will probably be
dominantly individuals, but there are businesses that want to help
2022 In recent years that number for Trinity
Television has been an increasing amount for some reason and we suspect that
coming into the Fraser Valley marketplace there will be businesses in the
community that will want to help get this station on air.
2023 We suspect initially it will possibly be a
higher percentage than what it is downstream because there is a -- when we
developed our broadcast facility in Winnipeg, when we went into it we were in a
place where we didn't have a lot of resources and over the next year-and-a-half
or two years we received an additional $1 million into our donation towards
a building. That was kind of like a one-time response from people across the
country and then it settled right back down to where it was in regular growth
2024 We believe that this the kind of word we are
hearing. When I talk to people in the Abbotsford and Mission and Maple Ridge
areas, I have talked to business people in the area, what I hear from there is
that there is an interest in them to help make something happen that wouldn't
happen without that kind of gifting. So I suspect that that will come on-stream,
but there are also very many individuals who have committed themselves to us and
said "We are going to help you make this happen." So it will be a
2025 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I take it somebody has
given you a piece of paper that may have that actual breakdown?
2026 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It may have more
2027 I will let somebody else answer that because I
don't know how to read the paper very well.
2028 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: We actually have it broken
down. It was one of the questions that the CRTC asked us.
2029 It breaks down between personal and corporate
and these are what we feel are very close guesstimates of what would be in fact
2030 So in this case we are looking at some station
donations of about $200,000 from the personal people in this community saying
yes, they want to be involved in helping the station happen; and $150,000 from
corporates at this time for the first year. So for a total of $350,000 towards
the station donation.
2031 Then we break that down into people who want
to donate towards other programs and very program specific. That is where it is
going to go later on.
2032 It will continue to grow as people say "Yes, I
want to get involved in making that program good and viable and healthy so it
can, you know, go forward into other markets and make it look better." There
will be people who will donate towards specific programs rather than the
2033 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So you have the
$350,000 sort of one-timers, you know, "I want to wish you all the best" --
and I don't mean to be derogatory in any way.
2034 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: No, no, not at
2035 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then you have the other
individuals who want to support actual programming.
2036 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right.
2037 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
2038 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: That's exactly what
happened in this case in Vision, as an example, where people have said "Yes, I
want to donate to a specific program on Vision, but I don't want to donate to
all of Vision", just they have something in mind where they want to help it out
2039 We see it the same way happening here where
they will just say, "Yes, I want to get involved in a particular program." We
find that actually right currently with our programs, that there are certain
programs they want to help and we have, you know, lines on our revenue sheets
where we have to make sure that the money goes to those particular programs now,
2040 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Those particular ones, if I
understand it, you are going to be doing on-air acknowledgements of
2041 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right. Not necessarily to
the individuals giving, but to say thank you very much for your gifts that have
made this program possible.
2042 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, okay.
2043 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: But not saying that, you
know, "To Joe Henry, thank you."
2044 COMMISSIONER CRAM: "We want to thank Joe's
body shop for" --
2045 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right.
2046 Not necessarily. We are more than happy and
delighted to include it as a commercial message or as a -- because we will
be a commercial station, or as an acknowledgment at the end of a program: Thank
you for the generosity towards us to make this program possible.
2047 There is no problem for us to do that as long
as it is included in that 12 minutes of advertising in the
2048 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So if you do
acknowledge that IBM gave you money for that program, it would be part of your
2049 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
2050 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2051 Any other acknowledgements would be thank you
everybody for supporting this?
2052 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Right,
2053 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would that be included in
your 12 minutes?
2054 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes, it
2055 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2056 You then talked about in terms of source of
revenue, repatriation, 20 per cent in year one, $250,000 repatriation of U.S.
radio and TV.
2057 What do you think is the total amount of
advertising revenue that U.S. radio and TV take out of Canada in that
2058 MR. McLENNAN: In dollars and cents through
donations into the United States? Is that what you are referring
2059 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, I was talking about
revenue, you know, in terms of actual advertising revenue.
2060 MR. McLENNAN: The U.S. stations.
--- Pause / Pause
2061 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How much money do they take
out of Canada?
2062 MR. McLENNAN: That is not a known figure. It's
the American stations, they don't -- there is no knowledge on
2063 But we can assume that they are taking a fair
amount of money out of Canada through their programming that is getting into
Canada through donations. We know that as a fact. That's big.
2064 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh,
2065 MR. McLENNAN: Donations to the programs that
are running on the American stations and so Canadians are supporting those
programs down there because it seems to fit their own personal
2066 COMMISSIONER CRAM: On KVOS and on the
2067 MR. McLENNAN: I'm sure. They wouldn't be on
the station unless it was returning something to them because these -- the
American broadcaster has a tendency to ask for financial support so the program
can air on that station. So that is the return. And they are on the station for
many years so I would have to presume that there is a revenue flow from Canada
to the United States that is significant.
2068 In my dealings, if I can just talk about
something that involved me many years ago, but I used to deal with the Jimmy
Swaggart group at Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the PTL group, and
2069 COMMISSIONER CRAM: They were very successful
at one time.
2070 MR. McLENNAN: -- can tell you, you would
be surprised at how much money left Canada every month. There is enormous
amounts of money leaving Canada to support those two ministries. Incredible
2071 So I hope I have answered your question, but
that is where the money goes.
2072 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So when you talk about
repatriating the advertising and the donating, if I read your application right
you said $65,000 would be coming from -- and I thought it was
advertising -- from the radio in Lynden.
2073 How did you come up with that if you couldn't
figure out what the total Canadian money that goes down there
2074 MR. McLENNAN: Well. we know from experience
that there is a lot of money down there, so therefore we can take a shot at what
we think might be attributable to Canada or could be first coming into Canada
through the programming that we may be able to offer them up here. That will
then bring the remainder in.
2075 I think we can make it grow based on the fact
that they have the program now, we have a very good marketplace and we are radio
rates. We are not television rates. So it becomes very attractive to them to be
here because they know the market is here because they are already enjoying it.
Because, you see, when a person sends a cheque we know -- they know where
it comes from.
2076 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I find it
2077 So you would also, in addition to getting
advertising revenue, at the end of the day the goal is to get the donations that
also follow that?
2078 MR. McLENNAN: Very much so.
2079 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think it is a
one-to-one ratio? For every $1.00 in advertising that would go to that station
there would be $1.00 of donation?
2080 MR. McLENNAN: I'm not sure where you are
taking me here.
2081 I think what we are really talking about is
two things. We are talking about a person or a group -- let's take KARI,
that are on that station, and they would buy that maybe out of Los Angeles and
they would run their program there. The dollars will go straight to the client
or to Los Angeles and they will pay the air time to the station. So the station
never sees those dollars, it just gets paid by the advertiser or
2082 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I get your point.
2083 Is Trinity, and this Trinity, CFVT, going to
have charitable tax status?
2084 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Actually it is going to
be the same organization we will just have a division that will
2085 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, it's going to be under
2086 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It will be under
Trinity, but it will be an autonomous division as far as the management and the
organization, but we will have the tax status that we currently
2087 We are not a different organization, this is
just a division of the organization here.
2088 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of donations
again, Mr. McLennan, you talk about 26 per cent in year one and that is
because of the bump, you know, and then 13 per cent in year
2089 You have been in, it sounds like, religious
programming and financing for some good length of time, does this sound
2090 MR. McLENNAN: Do you want me to answer
2091 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm asking
2092 MR. McLENNAN: Yes. Absolutely,
2093 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And the dollar numbers, are
2094 MR. McLENNAN: I believe they are,
2095 Looking at what we have been doing in other
places and having been involved in a start-up situation once before, I can
assure you these are achievable.
2096 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And the start-up situation
you did before, were the numbers concomitant to this?
2097 MR. McLENNAN: Oh. my gosh, no.
2098 This was in Toronto and it was the people that
were sitting before you earlier today when they were putting together Channel 47
in Toronto. That we had different numbers and you can go back into your own
records and see what they projected for their year end.
2099 It was a very difficult first year for those
of you who were around because of the wrong numbers. So it was imperative that
we put together realistic numbers that we can get to, otherwise we have to have
a real big problem at the end of the year.
2100 I think we have resolved that comfortably
because of the fact we have three streams of income coming in and we have a
cushion. So all of that brings together a very comfortable
2101 Remember, we don't have to pay the kind of
shareholders that are looking for their income from our operations so it isn't
that we are trying to achieve a profit centre here because everything that we
make is going back into it.
2102 I think you have to think a little differently
in relation to this particular broadcaster due to the fact that they are here to
bring the word, to work with the community, that is a small-town type community,
and what they are attempting to do is put together with the support of that
community to move forward.
2103 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm sorry,
Mr. McLennan, I may have misapprehended your answer or I may have misstated
2104 What I was getting at was donations as a
percentage of a source of revenues in a religious station and I thought you were
talking about start-up of -- if I can say so -- an ethnic station
where there would not have been the contributions.
2105 So what I'm talking about is in the religious
programming, in the religious programming area -- and I take it you have
worked for people who may or may not be seen in Canada as more illustrious than
Mr. Thiessen, is that, the 26 per cent and the 13 per cent, is that
2106 MR. McLENNAN: Yes.
2107 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It's
2108 If I might just say, this is not a typically
realistic situation. Mr. McLennan's exposure in the past has been with selling
time to particular groups of organizations that have purchased
2109 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2110 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: -- and if those
groups don't grow every year they don't stay in the long run. Because they have
to -- well, they have to at least cover their costs and see a reasonable
return going back to the organization back home after the air time has been
2111 But what we are speaking about here is the
fact that we are not selling a program, we are selling a station. In selling a
station we see the start-up response strong because we are now selling an
opportunity. But once that opportunity is in place and going people don't
support the operation, now they want to support that which you are doing on the
station. So we see the increase coming to the programs that are aired on that
station and they will, I suspect, they will be there but then they will
2112 When we came to Vancouver it took us three
years before we covered our costs, but now we exceed our costs in this area by a
considerable amount that enables us to now contribute towards the resources back
in Winnipeg to do the work.
2113 That is what I suspect, this will have an
initial boom impact, but we see it as ramping down towards the station but
programs ramping up clearly as a result as people get involved.
2114 As Mr. McLennan wasn't involved in that
kind of thing and we have been, excuse me for answering for him. I'm
2115 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to go to the
program specific donations.
2116 Have you been working on that already or have
you got people lined up ready to contribute to specific
2117 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The only
programs -- the programs that we are currently doing in this area, well
really it is only one which is "It's A New Day", is currently obtaining --
and I don't want to quote the figure because I don't need to tell Global what we
are doing in this area where. We still negotiate contracts with them so I don't
want to go on record with that, but we obtain resources beyond what we are
2118 Specifically what we see happening -- and
this is airing on a -- we receive donations in this area from two airings,
the one is on Vision at 5:30 in the morning, between 5:30 and 6:30 where most of
the people aren't up, and then there is the group who watch us on the Global
station at 10 o'clock in the morning.
2119 The very fact that we come on-stream with
"It's A New Day" bring -- we are airing now, we will be airing it on CFVT
between 11:00 and 12:00 in the evening as an additional play from what we have
now, which brings us for the first time into something approaching prime time in
2120 We suspect that just airing it in that place
will give us a viewership that far exceeds anything we could dream of even in
the Fraser Valley that we get now at 10 o'clock in the morning.
2121 Our anticipation is that that will be program
specific donations that will be coming in to Trinity Television and we are not
counting that as part of this because that is going to a program now, but we see
that in all likelihood.
2122 Should we have difficulties -- we are not
anticipating any with the station, but obviously then "It's A New Day" could be
buying time -- we are not showing it that way now -- from the station
in Maple Ridge and actually contributing to the station and ensuring its
viability. But it is the only program that we have particularly gone to and
said -- you know, we have talked to some of the other program producers and
we said "Are you interested in being on?" and the response has been a resounding
"Yes." But how that plays out in the long term --
2123 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In real life,
2124 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. Real life is always
2125 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of donations and
solicitations and the on-air fund raising, you do have guidelines on
2126 MR. REIMER-EPP: Yes, we do.
2127 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I would like you to just
sort of briefly go over the guidelines and the limitations and then the
2128 MR. REIMER-EPP: Certainly.
2129 Just to draw your attention to the policy
manual which was attached to Schedule 29, solicitation of funds is an essential
part of what an organization like this one does and so the regulation is in part
governed by Revenue Canada and in part something which we need to seriously
impose upon ourselves in order to ensure that we are dealing properly and
ethically with these things.
2130 I can say that the policies in the manual have
been adapted from the Vision policy manual which is already on file with the
Commission, so it is a tried and true set of guidelines, if I can put it that
2131 This is on page 148, according to the
2132 Commissioner Cram, would you like to go
through all of them individually or how would you like to -- did you have
specific questions about certain ones of them?
2133 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Maybe its probably
sufficient just to say that is, it follows Vision. Are there any differences
from the Vision?
2134 MR. REIMER-EPP: That's a question I can't
answer off the top of my head. It has been adapted somewhat, but not --
more edited than adapted.
2135 We haven't taken out any principles which were
essential to what Vision was doing.
2136 Some of the ones which I think are the most
important besides the 12 minutes is not targeting -- or not including
solicitation in programs targeted to children or youth. That is an obvious one
but one that is critical.
2137 Number three is really one which I think is
significant in light of the quotation that Willard read in his opening speech
about foreign programming.
"Solicitation must be respectful of the viewer and not intimidate the viewer
in any way. The wording and tone of solicitation cannot place undue
responsibility on the viewer to respond to the appeal or be unduly alarmist,
creating unrealistic expectation, threatening divine consequences..."
2138 Things that everybody shudders when they hear.
I mean, you need to know that we shudder too and that this is in here to
completely preclude that type of shenanigans. I will use that word. It probably
hasn't been on the record for awhile.
2139 It goes on and some of these reflect Revenue
Canada. The donors intention, of course, has to be respected. If there is a
particular request as to what this gift should be used for, it has to be used in
that fashion and those funds are therefore restricted.
2140 Fund raising consultants. We have no plans to
use these, but if that ever did arise there are provisions there for disclosing
those types of arrangements.
2141 I won't read all of them. The primary ones I
think I have covered.
2142 You asked about discipline and that is
Section 6 of the policy manual.
2143 This is something which is indicative, I
think, of the station's ultimate responsibility for everything that goes to air,
including advertising and solicitation and essentially 24 hours a
2144 When you are talking about a program producer,
though, there is obviously human error that comes into things.
2145 So there is a system of two warnings, both of
which are in writing and which set out exactly what the problem is and what the
station expects to be done to rectify that problem.
2146 Where the problem arises out of something
relating to balance, that would be something which Mr. Lo and the committee
would deal with. Anything else falls to station management and that is expressed
in the policy as well.
2147 On the third infraction -- and I should
say that an infraction would be triggered by a number of things including
complaints from viewers, including complaints from other programmers, including
complaints from staff for that matter. This is something where really anything
that comes into the station regarding a particular program forms part of the
file, if you will, on that program.
2148 On the third infraction there is a suspension
and to be reinstated the producer has to go through a series of steps to do
that, which are outlined there, what they are going to do essentially to ensure
it doesn't happen again.
2149 On the fourth infraction, that program is
banned from the station permanently. There is no appeal from that. Once that
decision has been taken, it's done.
2150 On the third strike, if I can call it that, if
it is a balance related issue it is the Balance Committee which makes the
decision about whether that program is reinstated. So that's not something that
is resting with station management, that is resting with the Balance
2151 Have I answered your question?
2152 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, thank
2153 I wanted to get into the Cornerstone agreement
and you have filed a contract with Cornerstone showing that initially the
programming you are going to be getting will be at little or no cost. It also
says the agreement is renewable.
2154 What I don't know is if it is renewable on the
same terms and how long it would be renewable in terms as to the low
2155 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes. It is actually
the -- this is an ongoing arrangement that they have with other
broadcasters as well and it has been an ongoing relationship in the past. We
have no reason to believe, they have given us no reason to believe that it
wouldn't continue on.
2156 They have a secondary -- they have two
relationships. I think this is an affiliation type of contract situation that
was here. There are a number of programs.
2157 Because there are programs that we do not
carry it's a non -- there is another relationship we look for where we must
carry programs which we have chosen not to enter into because we would lose
autonomy in the situation and we have chosen not to go there at all with
2158 On the basis of the arrangement we have with
them, we use whatever programs we want from them. They are using some of our
programs right now. They use our children's program in fact, it has been one of
2159 So the idea is that there may be barter or
contra relationships where a program that they find satisfactory, in order to
obtain it we may exchange programs so to speak. But there is no indication that
there would be an increase in cost to us in the future.
2160 MR. REIMER-EPP: Commissioner Cram, if I can
2161 Our understanding is that this is their
standard agreement and clause 8 of the agreement says that it is automatically
renewable for additional periods of time provided that neither party chooses to
terminate the agreement.
2162 So if the agreement is in fact renewed it is
on these terms.
2163 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2164 MR. REIMER-EPP: There are other, as Willard
was saying, other options which expand the programming available, but for the
programming that this agreement relates to, it is on these
2165 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2166 Are there similar agreements, you were talking
about the U.K. and Australia, are there similar types of agreements that are
available when you are talking little or no cost?
2167 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, there are. The
intent is that you exchange programming.
2168 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2169 Your plans include an increase in Canadian
programming when you gain financial momentum.
2170 If Mr. McLennan, for all of his good
work, is incorrect in the revenue projections, what happens then to your
Canadian programming and your investment in Canadian
2171 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: What we are asking for as a
condition of licence would be a percentage of revenue and we would be willing to
abide by that for the term of the licence. So we are anticipating financial
2172 We feel that these are conservative, but in
the event that they do not attain the goals that we want we will still be doing
programming and we will still be doing local programming and our programming
budget will be a percentage of revenue.
2173 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Gross
2174 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes.
2175 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What percentage are you
2176 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Well, I think in terms of
our actual application we are asking for a COL of, I think, 40 per
2177 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now, to
2178 Do I understand it that Trinity Winnipeg is
going to provide some of the programming? There was a children's program, "It's
A New Day" and the call-in program.
2179 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No. The call-in program
will not be coming. When we have analyzed it we don't believe it meets the
criteria of being a religious program. We didn't set it up that way. In fact, we
set it up the other way around. We have experience doing non-Christian
programming, so to speak.
2180 We did learn how to work with the call-in
programming and it has been extremely encouraging to find the diversity of calls
coming in. That has encouraged us to go this way and we believe we can do
balance with it because of what has happened there.
2181 But the "Sunshiny Day", "Follow Me" are two
children's programs that we have that are in the can and they will be here and
they will be aired here, as well as "It's A New Day". So those are the three
programs at this point in time that we see coming from Winnipeg because they are
2182 We aren't at this point in time planning any
new programs in Winnipeg to meet the needs of this particular station. The new
programs that we do will be done in the Fraser Valley.
2183 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2184 So when you talk about -- you say they
are in the can, what about the inventory that you have, the 6,000 hours
2185 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Pardon me. That does
show up on the Saturday and Sunday evening slot called "It's A New Day Classics"
and we will be pulling some of the old programs and possibly repackaging some
elements of them.
2186 But many of the programs we have done really
are not time dated in the intent as the content but, you know, I look a little
older now than I did in those days and so we are going to want to be current,
more current, but we feel with the classics there are some particular program
series that we have done that people continue to come back to us and say "Would
you please give us that one again."
2187 They are kind of the ones that you -- I
mean, this religious programming and you may not see it as classical, but there
are some programs out there that people just would like to see
2188 Some of the guests and the talent that we had
on those programs are no longer doing the kind of things they did at that time
and so it would be fun to do some of those programs. I have some in my mind
right now, but we see that as just a kind of a fun program to do on the Saturday
and Sunday nights.
2189 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are there any synergies
that may be available between Winnipeg and the new stations?
2190 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We believe there could
2191 I think the greatest synergy that we bring
to -- we want to bring to the Fraser Valley station is the philosophy and
the spirit with which programming is happening and the kind of -- there is
a spirit of production and relationship that we have in the station that is
wonderful and we are wanting to export that if we possibly can to the Fraser
2192 In the community -- in Winnipeg we have
had an extremely positive relationship with the broad community and probably if
there is anything that we -- and I believe there is a synergy because we
have developed relationships in this whole Valley area through "It's A New
2193 We have strong relationships with people
throughout this community. In fact, some events that used to be carried
initially were just done on the west coast, actually one of them happened last
summer in Winnipeg, because of the relationship we developed with organizations
in the Vancouver area.
2194 So there is -- that is a synergy of
relationship rather than production and we feel that is actually more valuable
than the production.
2195 There may be production there. We have talked
about some elements that we might do in Winnipeg and air here, but then we
thought, but there are some elements we want to do here and they would fit into
"It's A New Day" for instance in Winnipeg and so having another production
facility would actually enhance what we do in Winnipeg, never mind
enhance -- we don't see us enhancing here as much because we already have
"It's A New Day" here, but we could bring elements from here out
2196 We might actually produce "It's A New Day"
from Fraser Valley for periods of the year. There are times of the year when we
might be able to put --
2197 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When it's awfully cold in
2198 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: You heard me.
--- Laughter / Rires
2199 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: So we have thought of
actually maybe producing a duplicate set in the studios here
2200 The program is exportable very easily in that
sense, so we may actually end up doing more here than we do in Winnipeg as a
result of this.
2201 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Year one and two you have a
projection of a net income of over $500,000 and then it goes down. Not
coincidentally your programming costs go up.
2202 Why did you design it like this, and yet now
it seems things have changed because we are talking about a percentage of gross
2203 MR. KRAMER: I will answer
2204 What we are looking at in year one and two is
building up a reserve, to have a healthy reserve there. So in years one and two
creating quite a bit of positive cash flow and a net income and then thereafter
that really investing that back into the programming and into the programs to
really more of a nonprofit break even situation.
2205 So years one and two we are really trying to
build up a strong cash reserve so that if there are any problems or we need any
capital expansion that we have funds available and then from there on we would
be looking at more of a break even situation.
2206 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
2207 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Commissioner
2208 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes? I'm
2209 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Just to follow up on that,
we are looking for a COL of 40 per cent, but we believe that this actually
will -- that we have designed the revenues and assumptions, we feel that
the same thing will happen and even if we have a COL of 40 per cent that
doesn't mean we can't spend 60 per cent. That is one of the joys of being a
2210 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Being a
2211 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: Yes. Other guys
won't -- I don't think Moses would say that, but we will.
2212 COMMISSIONER CRAM: My last question, and it is
a term that was used by one of the intervenors that I don't think even
2213 "Morphing" and the fear that you will
metamorphosize yourselves and start competing with
2214 As Commissioner Wylie was saying to the people
with Rogers, here is your rehearsal: What do you say to that?
2215 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We haven't, as an
organization, changed from our policies that we began with 25 years ago. What we
started with then we are doing today. We are a religious organization that is
committed to doing religious programming. That is the reason we are in the
2216 This station we feel opens a doorway for us to
continue that at a level we have not been able to in fact enhance it and we are
committed to being a religious station just as we are applying for this. We do
not intend to morph.
2217 The programs, we hope to do programs that will
be appealing to the marketplace, absolutely, but they will be religious programs
and they will meet the criteria of religious programming as set out by the CRTC.
We are committed to that. Absolutely.
2218 If we morph into being successful, that would
be wonderful. I would like to see that happen.
2219 I hope that we give the commercial stations a
real competition in some of the programming, but it won't be because we are
using Hollywood, it will be -- or if we do use Hollywood it will be
religious Hollywood because something new may happen out there.
2220 We are in touch with some people out there who
are working at changing Hollywood. If some of that happens -- I don't know
if we can afford it, but maybe we are going to have a Hollywood north of the
border or a new station up in this area that produces some programming that will
impact our community. We look forward to that day, but it will be
2221 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
2222 Thank you.
2223 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Are there other
2224 That concludes our interrogation for you,
Madam and gentlemen.
2225 Thank you very much.
2226 Would you like to add a final comment?
2227 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Thank you for the
2228 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
2229 To everybody, we will see you tomorrow morning
at eight o'clock. Have a good evening and good night's sleep.
2230 Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1910, to resume
on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 0800 / L'audience
est ajournée à 1910, pour reprendre le mardi
22 février 2000 à 0800